Religion and Global Society

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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…
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[This is the second blog in a Lenten series on poverty] In the first installment on poverty I argued that from a Muslim and Christian perspective the scandalous economic inequalities we now witness in our world can only be tackled with a holistic approach: short term relief for victims of hunger and natural disasters and long term pressure on the…
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[This is the last of 4 blog posts on the sociology of religion] So you read the news: in the first round of post-revolutionary elections in Cairo and Alexandria – the only places where secular parties have a chance to do well – the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party raked in 37% of the vote, while the brand new…
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Social scientists agree that our world has become more religious since the 1970s. True, polls show Americans have been edging away from religion and even “spirituality” since the 1990s, but, paradoxically, “secular” Europe has been steadily becoming more religious ("Crises of Faith"). The Tony Blair Faith Foundation plausibly states that we’ve entered a “post-secular age,” in which religion plays a…