walter russell mead peter berger lilia shevtsova adam garfinkle andrew a. michta
Peter Berger
Religion & Other Curiosities
Comparative Theodicy
Is Atheism a Specifically Western Phenomenon?

We know atheism in its Jewish or Christian context, as a rejection of the Biblical God. What would atheism mean in a Muslim, or Hindu, or Buddhist context?

Immigration in the Modern World
Illegal migrants who were rescued by the Libyan navy. © Getty Images
Dreams of Home

An Austrian novelist once wrote “Home is where one was a child.” Stories from around the world illustrate how immigration is a very difficult moral issue for liberal democracies today.

Around The Web
America Curiosa

Some stories of interest—”and other curiosities”—from around the web.

Theodicy Today
© JACK GUEZ / Staff / AFP/Getty Images
Forgiving God?

A sermon preached on the eve of Yom Kippur by a Conservative rabbi in Seattle makes for some startling reading.

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”.

The First Amendment
Swedish gay pride parade. © Getty Images
The Mayor of Houston and the Saudi Ministry of Religious Affairs

Every presidency creates an institutional culture which trickles down all the way to city halls in the provinces. Obama’s tone-deafness on religious freedom has had palpable consequences across the land.

Secularism
"Anthony and Cleopatra" by Lawrence Alma-Tadema
In the Matter of Incest

In mid-September, the German Ethics Council recommended that sexual relations between consenting adult siblings be decriminalized. It is worth noting how all arguments presented in the Council’s carefully worded document are of a completely secular nature.

Peace
© Getty Images
“Speaking Truth to Power” Redux

A group of progressive Methodists, accompanied by similar-minded other Protestants and Catholics, signed an “Open Letter to President Obama” earlier this summer warning against intervention in the Middle East, even as congress and public opinion have been moved toward action. Are they “speaking truth to power”, or just talking to themselves?

Chemin Neuf and the Community of Bose
A New Monasticism

What could monastic life today look like? Two attempts at reimagining how it could thrive in the twenty-first century.

Noisy Worship
© Shutterstock
Joyful Noises

There is ample Biblical warrant for noisy worship. And indeed, noisemaking is a feature of many different religious traditions.

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Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Ukrainian Reality

The numbers of deaths and casualties in eastern Ukraine from the months since the Minsk accords belie the claim that there ever was a real ceasefire at all: If anything, the fighting actually worsened after the agreement.

China's Bubble

Researchers calculate that $7 trillion has been wasted on ‘ineffective investments’ by China since the global financial crisis. How this plays out is anyone’s guess, but the least likely scenario is a smooth landing.

Case Study: Taxis

The old regulated taxi system was one of the classic examples of the blue model system. Internet startups, tapping into long-simmering consumer discontent with the old ways, are hastening its demise. It’s a representative slice of a much bigger trend.

To You and Yours

We give to you, our readers, an essay and some meaningful Thanksgiving music for the holiday.

Sanctions and strategy

Angela Merkel is considering opening trade talks with Putin—partly in response to rising criticism at home, as well as growing discontent in the broader European coalition, over her being too tough on the Russians.

The Maritime Silk Road

China is making nice with Sri Lanka in order to have a place to set up naval bases and resupply ports for its future in the Indian Ocean region. But India and Japan won’t be happy about that.

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