American Jews and Christians are again embroiled in a painful and divisive debate. The just-released statement “A Call to Action: A U.S. Response to Kairos Palestine” offers a Christian theological critique of the state of Israel and the Jewish …read more
Paul insists, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”
Paul was the Apostle of human freedom.
Basically, the Church was developing within a strongly partiarchal and heirarchical society…. Despite the freshness and hopefulness we see in Jesus and Paul, it is not surprising that male domination would soon assert itself and claim exclusive leadership privileges. Maybe women could lead among women, of course… no real complication or threat there.read more
When the tools of modern science are applied to religious relics, the results are almost always the same: Science says the relics aren’t what their supporters claim. The most famous of them all, the Turin Shroud, is …read more
Religion in Human Evolution is a work of extraordinary ambition—a wide-ranging, nuanced probing of our biological past to discover the kinds of lives that human beings have most often imagined were worth living. It offers what is frequently seen as a forbidden theory of the origin of religion that goes deep into evolution, especially but not exclusively cultural evolution.read more
Bellah’s grand argument is complex but elegant: social cohesion constitutes, simultaneously, a functional mechanism for group survival and an incubator of more complex forms of social evolution; these various forms of social cohesion, in a certain evolutionary stage of social development, crystallized in institutional “religion”; religion became a generalized means of generating social capacities that increase in every new stage of cultural evolution; failing to develop such patterns (a very real possibility) means the neutralization of the evolutionary process itself; and religion, even in its most domineering forms, entails moral reflexivity and social criticism, based upon the crucial distinction between reciprocal hierarchies and brute exercise of domination.read more
Shimon Peres wasn’t the oldest figure to get some attention from US President Barack Obama this week. A day before presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the 88-year-old Israeli president, the American leader checked out the Dead Sea …read more
Are you religious? Your answer will depend a lot on what your questioner meant by the concept of “religion” and how you view this concept.read more
Well, it’s been quite a whirlwind week for same-sex marriage, from North Carolina to Obama to Colorado—and, of course, to the many outraged conservatives concerned with preserving traditional marriage, i.e., the time-honored sacred bond between one man and one woman. Why, just last week, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said that marriage has meant just that for over five thousand years.
2) The Hebrew scriptures, or the Old Testament, represent a religious tradition that is independent of the later Christian faith. The Hebrew scriptures aren’t about Jesus, although the Christian scriptures include many references to the Hebrew scriptures. To honor the fundamental differences between the two sets of scriptures doubles the spiritual significance of the entire Bible.read more
The New American Bible revised edition is more than a mere Bible translation. Authorized by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine and approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the New American Bible seeks to provide the best resource for understanding the church’s sacred Scripture.read more
When President Obama announced he now supports same-sex marriage, he cited his Christian faith. “The thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, …read more