Two-thirds of Americans think that religion is losing its influence on U.S. life—a sharp jump from just three years ago when Americans were nearly evenly split on the question, according to a new Gallup Poll.
Older and wiser: Henry Alford, 46, has written a book about old age based on conversations with more than 100 people over 70 (How to Live). Althea Washington, a retired school teacher, lost her husband and house in Hurricane Katrina and now lives in a small apartment close to train tracks. When asked how she's coping, she responded: "Can you hear that train? As long as it stays on its tracks, I'll stay on mine" (USA Today, December 30).
When President Barack Obama tapped megachurch pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration, many liberal activists decried the choice of a high-profile evangelical figure who has opposed gay marriage and abortion rights.
A longtime official of evangelical organizations is the new president of the American Bible Society. R. Lamar Vest, the current executive vice president of Global Scripture Ministries for the New York–based society, was chosen by the society’s trustees to begin duties on January 1.
The heads of Christian churches in Jerusalem have denounced the devastating hostilities in the Gaza Strip as well as “all forms of violence and killings from all parties”—an appeal in the closing days of 2008 heard from government officials and religious leaders alike.
In recent months, the National Council of Churches observed its 100th anniversary, the World Council of Churches celebrated its 60th birthday, and the new, widest-ever group, called the Global Christian Forum, laid plans for a second international conclave in 2011 with a strengthened secretar- iat and an effort to get the word out about its existence.
To the chapters of the life of a onetime prime minister and now freelance diplomat, add one more: Mr. Blair Goes to Yale.
Fresh off his first year as a guest lecturer on faith and globalization at Yale University, former British prime minister Tony Blair got something rarely accorded to most academics: a public forum in which to reflect on what he had learned as a teacher.
If the Obamas were to look for a mainline church whose past includes a long line of White House occupants, they might choose National Presbyterian Church or one very close by, St. John’s Episcopal Church, according to a television report on Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.
Donald Shriver Jr., an ethicist, a former president of New York’s Union Theological Seminary and a Century editor at large, has won the prestigious Grawemeyer Award in Religion from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Semi nary and the University of Louis ville.
President-elect Barack Obama says that the historically black church moved him from a skeptic to a believer.
He has spoken appreciatively of its vibrant worship, written about how the black church experience has moved him to tears. And he has credited black congregations for their work in helping the powerless and in speaking truth to power.