An Interview with Shaun Casey, Part Two: Religious Studies and the State Department: Professor Casey’s Scholarly Influences

When Secretary of State John Kerry launched the new Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives (OFBCI), he extolled the importance and urgency of religious studies:  “In fact if I went back to college today I think I would probably major in comparative religion because that’s how integrated it is in everything we are working on, and deciding, and thinking about in life today.” The virtue and political utility of religious studies aside, some academics voiced critique and caution about how such an office might be haunted by political agendas, subjected to idealistic visions of liberal democracy, and premised on a particular concept of […]

An Interview with Shaun Casey, Part Three: Inter-Faith Dialogue and Interdisciplinarity

When Secretary of State John Kerry launched the new Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives (OFBCI), he extolled the importance and urgency of religious studies:  “In fact if I went back to college today I think I would probably major in comparative religion because that’s how integrated it is in everything we are working on, and deciding, and thinking about in life today.” The virtue and political utility of religious studies aside, some academics voiced critique and caution about how such an office might be haunted by political agendas, subjected to idealistic visions of liberal democracy, and premised on a particular concept of […]

An Interview with Shaun Casey, Part Four: International Relations and Religion

When Secretary of State John Kerry launched the new Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives (OFBCI), he extolled the importance and urgency of religious studies:  “In fact if I went back to college today I think I would probably major in comparative religion because that’s how integrated it is in everything we are working on, and deciding, and thinking about in life today.” The virtue and political utility of religious studies aside, some academics voiced critique and caution about how such an office might be haunted by political agendas, subjected to idealistic visions of liberal democracy, and premised on a particular concept of […]

An Interview with Shaun Casey: Religion and Presidential Politics

When Secretary of State John Kerry launched the new Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives (OFBCI), he extolled the importance and urgency of religious studies:  “In fact if I went back to college today I think I would probably major in comparative religion because that’s how integrated it is in everything we are working on, and deciding, and thinking about in life today.” The virtue and political utility of religious studies aside, some academics voiced critique and caution about how such an office might be haunted by political agendas, subjected to idealistic visions of liberal democracy, and premised on a particular […]

Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Heart: Learning About the New Age from After School Cartoons

  By Beth Singler “Captain Planet, he’s our hero, Gonna take pollution down to zero, He’s our powers magnified, And he’s fighting on the planet’s side.” Travel back with me now through the mists of time to when dinosaurs roamed the earth and a much younger version of me returned each day from school to settle down on the couch with a choccy biscuit and that afternoon’s cartoons. On very special days these lyrics—written by no less a musical luminary than Phil Collins himself—would blast out of my television to let me know that I was in for thirty minutes […]

The Bible in Comics: Genesis

  By Beth Davies-Stofka, PhD The Bible was written on scrolls, papyri, and parchment and rendered in languages ancient or dead. For some religious people, it would seem an act of disrespect, if not sacrilege, to translate its stories and lessons into pictures. Yet down the centuries, countless believers have eagerly translated the Bible into art, sculpture, music, and architecture. To encounter the Bible in art is to encounter the reverence, the joy, and even the missionary zeal of the artist. In the most notable examples, we also feel the artist’s curiosity, the will to explore the unexplored dimensions of his […]

The Link between Anti-Gay Church Teachings and the Millennial Exodus

  By Daniel Cox Ask someone born after 1980 whether they know anyone who has left his or her childhood religion and the answer will likely be yes. In fact, many Millennials, adults who are between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four, could probably name more than one. Roughly one-quarter (24 percent) of Millennials have abandoned their childhood religious identities and now claim no attachment to organized religion. And this is more than just a life cycle phenomenon; today’s Millennials exhibit a greater propensity to leave their childhood faith than any previous generation. Now, a survey from Public Religion Research Institute sheds […]