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Why Religions Work: God’s Place in the World Today

God and religion come in for bad press these days. Is religion worth keeping? Are militant atheists misguided? Do religion and spirituality need each other? Is it possible to build tolerance and respect in a divided world? And can science play a role? Eleanor Stoneham explains why the answer to all these questions is a resounding ‘yes’.

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Jesus and Identity: Reconstructing Judean Ethnicity in Q (Matrix: The Bible in Mediterranean Context)

A socio-cultural model of Judean ethnicity is developed, being a synthesis of (1) Sanders’ notion of covenantal nomism, (2) Berger and Luckmann’s theories on the sociology of knowledge, (3) Dunn’s “four pillars of Second Temple Judaism” and his “new perspective” on Paul, (4) cultural or social anthropology in the form of modern ethnicity theory, and, lastly, (5) Duling’s Socio-Cultural Model of Ethnicity.

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Walking in Their Sandals: A Guide to First-Century Israelite Ethnic Identity

This volume invites readers to walk in Israelite sandals, that is, to take a journey of the imagination, and to immerse themselves in the identity, values, and institutions of first-century CE Israelites with the help of contemporary social-scientific studies and theories.

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Let My Preachers Endorse: A Modest Church-State Proposal

This past Wednesday the Freedom from Religion Foundation filed a federal lawsuit against IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman for allowing churches to endorse candidates while remaining tax exempt. According to the FFRF, this “constitutes preferential treatment to churches and religious organizations …

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Hope Unseen

(based on John 5: 37-47, Romans 8: 18-25)

When one comes in a never-uttered name
God wins the glory for all that is done:
It’s in hoping for what cannot be claimed
That every inch of justice is won.

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Diocese says parish must hold separate Communion services

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond has told the nation’s only blended Catholic and Episcopal parish it must change its worship services so Catholics and non-Catholics meet in separate rooms for Holy Communion. The parish, Church of …

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South Carolina Episcopalians break away from U.S. church

(Reuters) – A majority of parishes in the conservative Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina voted on Saturday to leave the U.S. Episcopal Church over disagreements on issues including the national church’s ordination of gay clergy and acceptance …

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New Congress more religiously diverse, less Protestant

Three Buddhists, a Hindu and a “none” will walk into the 113th Congress, and it’s no joke. Rather, it’s a series of “firsts” that reflect the growing religious diversity of the country. When the new Congress is …

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Understanding “The Gospel”: Why Authorship Claims Matter Dramatically – Part 2

The great dividing line for two religions and the relationship between them is the period of 66-70 CE, which ended in the destruction of both Jerusalem and the great “Second Temple”. For Jews of the time this destroyed the political, economic and religious organization of Israel….

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Peter Laarman to Samuel Rodriguez: Theocratic Agendas and Aging White Men

At Religion Dispatches, Peter Laarman writes a heartfelt open letter, ordained pastor to ordained pastor, to Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the “Hispanic Karl Rove,” as Greg Metzger characterizes him.

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