A struggling effort to organize progressive clergy around election-year issues as a political lobbying group in 2004 has undergone a new year’s transformation with a new name, a new tax status and a renewed commitment to rally liberal religious voters in the 2006 midterm elections.
The Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment says its national clergy sabbatical program will continue for a sixth year in 2005. Recently the foundation announced 132 recipients, who will receive up to $45,000 each. The 2004 winners represented 23 Christian denominations in 37 states.
Two civil-liberties watchdog groups have filed the first known lawsuit to prevent public schools from teaching the theory of “intelligent design.” Critics of the theory, including supporters of evolution, call it “junk science” and say it is a back-door way to teach creationism.
In yet another first for female seminary executives, Leah Gaskin Fitchue has been inaugurated as the head of Payne Theological Seminary, making her the first African-American woman president of a seminary affiliated with the Association of Theological Schools.
AnthonyFlew, 81, a British philosopher who has long championed atheism, has changed his mind about the existence of God, at least in a limited way. “I don’t believe in the God of any revelatory system, although I am open to that,” Flew told the journal of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, Philosophia Christi.