Sociologists are reputed to be masters of suspicion, and many keep their distance from religious belief and practice. Robert Bellah’s field was the sociology of religion, and the longtime University of California, Berkeley professor—who died last week—certainly knew the value of “distance” in this and all human sciences. But as he studied people of faith and their practice—whether in “Tokugawa Religion” in Japan (his doctoral dissertation subject) or in America—he discerned integrity and value in the faith(s) of many.
August 8, 2013
Barton Swaim, reviewing Elesha J. Coffman’s The Christian Century and the Rise of the Protestant Mainline for the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), wrote this: Nor were the editors [of the Christian Century] above dirty tricks, at one point even hiring an investigative reporter to find some impropriety in [the Billy Graham] organization’s finances. None came to light, but in something of a scoop, Ms. Coffman has discovered documents linking the revered historian Martin Marty to the rough anti-Graham campaign. As far as Coffman’s book goes, I have only the usual quibbles that a historian voices when reviewing the work of another historian. It is Swaim who is unfair to the magazine.
July 17, 2013
Ralph Wood, who calls himself a Bapto-Catholic, is certainly qualified to write on the militant Catholic Chesterton, who seldom withheld his fire and fury except when he settled for expressing disdain for Protestantism and other "unorthodox" versions of Christianity.
March 13, 2012
David Heim recently highlighted the article in the June 9 issue of The New Republic (subscribers only) by pioneer bioethicist Daniel Callahan and Sherwin B. Nuland, author of How We Die. According to Callahan and Nuland, our health-care system has for decades "been waging an unrelenting war against disease," with dire effects on the culture.
June 22, 2011
From theological reflections to breaking religion news to the latest books, the Christian Century's newsletters have you covered.
"No whining!" the plaque on my study wall all but shouts. Steven D. Smith does not whine as he invades a territory frequented by whiners.
September 21, 2010