Month: October 2006

Spirituality in Higher Education

I stumbled on the web site for a project engaged in studying Spirituality in Higher Education, based at UCLA. It gives an interesting look at the state of religion on US college campuses, both with regard to students and faculty. Now, I don’t know how much to trust their findings. Many of the publications and Spirituality in Higher Education

How Europe could get religion again

Take a look at Polly Toynbee’s column in The Guardian (major British newpaper) last week. She has many interesting things to say about the official religiosity emanating from Britain lately. It also gets me thinking about how irreversible European secularization really is. I’ve generally been impressed with the work of sociologists such as Steve Bruce, How Europe could get religion again

Taliban Take Two

Jerry Sutton, pastor of Two Rivers Baptist Church said at a political rally in Nashville yesterday: “‘We have every intention of out-praying, out-thinking, out-working, out-serving and out-loving our opponents,’ Sutton said. ‘And we will by the grace of God make this a Christian nation.’” [link] Dominionism is alive and well…

How not to understand Islam

I’ve been getting questions about what’s wrong with trying to figure out Islam by sitting down with the Quran. I’ll go ahead and start a new heading—this deserves a significant rant, not burying in a comment on an entirely different topic. Indeed, this is especially worth talking about, since trying to understand Islam by reading How not to understand Islam

Infidel Bestsellers

After reviewing The God Delusion yesterday, I checked how it was doing on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list. Number 8—not bad. Also intriguing: Sam Harris’s latest is number 6. Better than Thomas Friedman’s silly The World is Flat (9), but worse than Bill O’Riley (2—sigh). One reaction I have, naturally, is envy. I Infidel Bestsellers

The God Delusion

I got hold of and immediately read through The God Delusion last week. As always, Richard Dawkins is a delightful writer. I recommend the book to everyone. It’s a more popular-oriented book rather than something that presents detailed examinations of various versions of “God,” but that makes it all the more valuable. And it does The God Delusion

Bush just using Christians, says former faith office leader

Cross-posted from my blog. MSNBC has the story, about David Kuo’s new book, Tempting Faith: More than five years after President Bush created the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, the former second-in-command of that office is going public with an insider’s tell-all account that portrays an office used almost exclusively to win political points with both Bush just using Christians, says former faith office leader

James Dobson Shrugs It Off

The news about Mark Foley is over a week old now. And unless you’ve been up on Mars wandering around with the rover, you know that Foley was the Congressman from Florida who recently resigned after news broke that he had been sexually harrassing 16-year old boys. It’s a fact of life that sexual predators James Dobson Shrugs It Off

Turning Muslim in Texas

There’s an interesting documentary on Google, Turning Muslim in Texas, about a number of Southern Baptists converting to Islam, often because they don’t think Christianity is conservative enough. It’s one of those things that feed my suspicion that moral critiques of conservative religion have an element of futility about them. The submission, the strictness, the Turning Muslim in Texas