Peter Berger
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Religion & Other Curiosities
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 […]

August 7, 2013

Persecuted Christians

Both Roman Catholic and Evangelical Protestant media have for years been drawing public attention to the persecution of Christians in many countries. Secular media have been less attentive; some have ascribed this to an anti-Christian bias; I rather doubt this—more likely it comes from the fact that many otherwise well-informed journalists are less informed on […]

July 31, 2013

Pope Francis I Asserts Jurisdiction Over Virtual Reality

Pope Francis has been widely praised for his simple ways and modest demeanor. When he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he traveled by public transport. He is now living in a Vatican guest house instead of the lavish Papal Apartments. He also wears ordinary leather shoes, not the traditional velvet slippers. (As far as I […]

July 24, 2013

Islamophobia or Anthropophobia?

On July 16, 2013, Asia News, an online Roman Catholic newsletter published out of Rome, carried a story involving Hindu-Muslim relations in India. I want to put this story into a wider context. The story reports on a controversy sparked by an offensive remark by Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat and […]

June 19, 2013

Can Judges Define The Structure of The Universe?

The Washington Post, on June 14, 2013, reported on a case in Philadelphia. A couple, Herbert and Catherine Schaible, were arrested and held without bail on a charge of third-degree murder. They are members of a small Pentecostal church in North Philadelphia, which teaches that Christians should not use modern medicine but rely on divine […]

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