Religion is a hot new topic for historians

The latest annual survey by the American Historical Association says that younger historians are more likely than older ones to turn their sights on faith issues.

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What Paul really thought about women

John Dominic Crossan continues The Search for the Historical Paul with an essay in Huffington Post on what Paul thought about women:

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Cross disciplinary religious thought lacking

Speaking from personal experience, there's a great deal of commentary about religion made by scholars who don't have any. While the lack of any personal faith doesn't necessarily disqualify someone from having an opinion, most commonly negative, about how people of faith should comport themselves; in most other fields, the lack of personal experience with the subject would make it much harder for a person's views to be taken seriously.

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Not interested

Studies are appearing that reveal that there are significant numbers of people who are not only unaffiliated religiously but also don't really care. Call them the not-spiritual-not-religious.

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Discussing faith and belief

Andrew Marr on BBC Radio 4 discusses the nature of faith and belief with Jonathan Safran Foer, Richard Holloway, Karen Armstrong and Helen Edmundson, who all live outside of their traditional faiths and in the agnostic middle ground.

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Bending tradition for schools of theology

There has been much conversation recently on the future of seminaries.

Katherine M Douglass and Jason Bruner, doctoral candidates at Princeton Theological Seminary, write in The Chronicle of Higher Education:

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More on the rise of the "nones"

A study published by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues says that the number of people who claim no religious affiliation as grown. Most of these "nones" are people who believe in God and most had a religious affiliation earlier in life.

Here is the abstract and the rest of the study:

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How the church creates atheists

When Larry Alex Taunton interviewed college nonbelievers about how and why they left religion, he discovered how it was the churches that drove young people to unbelief.

He writes in The Atlantic:

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Dioceses in three Midwestern states launch new School for Ministry

The Episcopal bishops of Kansas, Nebraska, West Missouri and Western Kansas are teaming up to create a new School for Ministry to educate lay ministers, deacons and bi-vocational (part-time or non-stipendiary) priests. The four bishops issued the following announcement today:

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Demon rum

Mixing religion and alcohol may be dangerous to other people’s health according to a new study of religion, alcohol and violence.

It says that religious people who were not under the influence were the most likely to turn the other cheek among those studied. But religious people who are intoxicated appear to be most likely to be show aggression among intoxicated persons in the study.

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Mixing science and religion

“Now I would love to tell you that there is no conflict between science and religion at all,” he told the gathering, “but I’m afraid there is.” said Nick Knisely, bishop of Rhode Island in the Providence Journal. He goes on to discuss his beliefs as a person of faith and a scientist:

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Islam, Christianity and Jesus

How can two different religious traditions embrace such different views of Jesus? Professor Mona Siddiqui of Edinburgh University looks at how Christianity and Islam understand Jesus from both an academic and a personal standpoint.

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Taxpayers subsidize churches $82.5 billion! (Or do we?)

The Washington Post's Wonkblog talks about a recent study that suggests that the American taxpayer subsidized religion to the tune of $82.5 billion per year. But is that a bad thing? The sponsors of the study say it is.

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Religion in prison, prison in religion

Religion in prison is a very American story. In a society that defines religion in a deeplhy personal way, we also are quick to fill up our jails. America has around 5% of the world's population, yet 25% of its prisoners. So what happens when religion and prison meet up?

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Poll explores faith life of college students

A new poll shows that college students are almost evenly divided into three camps when it comes to faith. About a third, 32%, are true believers. Another 32% are spiritual but not religious. And 28% consider themselves secular.

USA Today:

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Inventing a religion from scratch

What if you could invent your own religion from scratch? What would you teach about God? For that matter, what would your own personal do-it-yourself religion tell us about you?

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History of religion in 11 objects

Religion professor S. Brent Plate offers interesting perspective on the importance of stuff to our religious understanding. From Huffington Post:

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GTS embarks on the 'way of wisdom.'

Believing that the ways of academic specilization and business-style management is leaving the church bereft, the Dean and faculty of General Seminary are embarking on an experiment to integrate theological education with the daily, lived experience of the church. They are calling this exploration "The Way of Wisdom."

A statement from the faculty:

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Obama and the paradoxes of progressive Christianity

James T. Kloppenberg is the Charles Warren Professor of American History at Harvard University and he spoke with Religion and Politics about his lecture “Barack Obama and the Paradoxes of Progressive Christianity.”

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Religion and Asperger's Syndrome

According to Jonathan Kemmerer-Scovner, individuals with Asperger's Syndrome traditionally have been seen as having a difficult relationship with religion. In an interview with Ned Spodos, a more nuanced relationship between religion and Asperger's, for one man, is explored in some depth:

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