Up with religion: Religion is now the most popular theme studied by historians, according to a member survey by the American Historical Association. Culture had previously taken the top spot in surveys over the past 15 years. A decade ago only 2 percent of job openings and fellowships posted with the AHA listed religion among the desired specializations; last year, 10 percent listed religion (Inside Higher Ed, December 21).
When Pope Benedict XVI visited Africa last March, he made countless pleas on behalf of the poor and the war-weary. Yet the words that got the most attention were spoken on the papal plane when he said condoms are part of the problem, not the solution to Africa’s HIV/AIDS pandemic.
About one-third of the countries in the world have high restrictions on religion, exposing almost 70 percent of the globe’s population to limitations on their faith, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. The analysis, released December 16, is based on reports from the U.S. State Department and human rights groups as well as national constitutions.