Religion and Global Society

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This may seem like a boring title, but it speaks directly to the instability, turmoil and even violence that flagship states Tunisia and Egypt are experiencing two years after their “revolutions.” Mounting distrust between the two islamist regimes and their secular opposition parties has so widened this decades-long divide that it now threatens the very survival of their democratic institutions.…
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Sadly, most people around the world who identify “evangelicals” with “conservative Protestants” would agree that they don’t stand for peace – they’re anti-abortion, anti-gays, yes; but not anti-war. Yet as someone who writes mostly about Islam, I would have to remind readers that the sociology of any broadly labeled group, and especially a religious one, is a lot more complex…
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Writing for a site “passionate about peace and human flourishing,” I want to celebrate the new president of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim. In Earth, Empire and Sacred Text, I had decried some of the misdeeds of an overly ideological World Bank in the 1980s and 1990s, and how its neoliberal one-size-fits-all approach to fixing the struggling economies…
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We Americans invaded Iraq in 2003 and then spent much of the next nine years fighting “to win the hearts and minds” of the Iraqi population. Imagine the leader of that insurgency becoming so popular in the US that our president handed him the Medal of Honor, and a town, say, in the UK was named after him. That man…
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If Jesus of Nazareth didn't rise from the dead, the Christian faith is meaningless. Worse, it's a hoax. As the apostle Paul wrote, "if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins" (I Cor. 15:17). This is a blog about the bedrock of Christian conviction. It's also about the Easter…
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In the first two blogs in this Lenten series we’ve seen that poverty can only be remedied in a holistic way. Now, having examined how Christians struggle with this concept, I turn to Muslims and show how alleviating poverty represents a challenge for them too. Though less than the Bible, the Qur’an often speaks of the poor and of the…