In 1976 Jerry Falwell got a phone call from Jody Powell, special assistant to Jimmy Carter—a call that launched the Religious Right. Powell asked Falwell to tone down his criticism of Carter’s interview with Playboy magazine.
However one assesses Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, the film has drawn attention to the death of Jesus in a way that preachers and teachers, who annually labor to place Good Friday before their people, can only envy. One could scarcely have imagined that the crucifixion would become a topic for movie reviewers and talk show hosts.
Saints such as the 16th-century Carmelites Teresa of Ávila and John of the Cross have become guardians of others across time—certainly so for the American psychiatrist Gerald May, who takes to heart their remarks and their manner of engaging a religion they dared regard with
In June 1918 a Philadelphia reporter asked Pentecostal evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson to describe her theology. McPherson flashed a smile and replied that she had none: rather, she favored old-fashioned experience. She was not alone.