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Peter Berger
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Religion & Other Curiosities
October 29, 2014
Three Approaches to Social Liberalization

Rome, Canterbury and Moscow

As Pope Francis appears to be tacitly approving certain liberalizations in the Catholic Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury canceled the upcoming Lambeth Conference due to strong opposition from African clergy to the Anglican Church’s developing attitudes on gay clergy and bishops, same-sex couples, and generally tolerant attitudes toward homosexuality. Meanwhile, the Russian Orthodox Church seeks to “return Europe to its true self”.

September 17, 2014
Putin & Al-Baghdadi

Genocidal Murders and Ordinary Thuggery

There is no moral equivalence between the Islamic State and Putin’s Russia—the first is a genocidal totalitarianism while the second is brutally authoritarian, but not genocidal. But both want to carve out new or enlarged states across internationally recognized borders, both threaten international stability, and both ultimately legitimate themselves in religious terms.

June 11, 2014
Crackdown

Is the Chinese Regime Changing its Policy Toward Christianity?

It appears to be. And its hostility is only likely to increase as the regime turns to forces such as nationalism to legitimate itself in the face of an inevitable slowdown in China’s rate of growth.

April 30, 2014
Popular Religion

Heaven For Everyone?

The film Heaven Is For Real has done very well at the box office, in part by tapping into lax modern attitudes about salvation. Some critics are troubled by its message.

December 18, 2013
New Energy In The Old World

Pentecostalism Invades Lambeth Palace

Is charismatic Christianity coming to Europe? Up until now, it didn’t seem likely. But events in the UK perhaps suggest otherwise.

October 30, 2013

Cowboys and Calvinists

Most human beings are not logicians. They muddle through life with beliefs and values that often do not hang together logically. I think that, basically, this is good news. Rigorously consistent doctrines, in politics as in religion, have a tendency to become murderous. The Mexican writer Octavio Paz (in his wonderful book The Labyrinth of […]

October 2, 2013

White Feminists and Korean Fundamentalists

Not long ago I had a conversation with the dean of a mainline Protestant divinity school. I asked him what his students are like these days. He said that there are three main groups: white women—most of them feminists and/or GLBT activists—African-Americans and Koreans, most in both groups being fundamentalists. He laughed and said that […]

August 29, 2013

Reform Jews, Moderate Muslims, and Scholarly Swedes

Readers of this blog will by now have become familiar with my cognitive preference for free association. I read something about Brazil, which reminds me about something in China, the two items together have an implication for a theory of mine. If the currently fashionable brain science is right, this predilection of mine may be […]

August 21, 2013

Cardinal Newman and the Progressive View of the World

The British Catholic journal The Tablet carried a story on August 3, 2013 that I found suggestive (although its topic is not terribly interesting in itself). The story reports on the surprising growth in England of the Roman Catholic Congregation of the Oratory. This is not a monastic order but a community of secular priests, […]

August 14, 2013

O Canada!

I have not previously dragged out an issue from one post to the next, but I will this time. I just came across two news items that further illustrate a point I made in my most recent post. Most of that post dealt with the persecution of Christians in many countries, compared with which some […]

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