The shape of American religious discourse

28 10 2010

AG sent me an article in the Economist entitled, How the cold war reshaped Protestantism in America . It is an eye-opening reminder about how much religious discourse has changed in this country in the past fifty to sixty years. It used to be that Protestantism was a force for “progressivism” so to speak. Now even Catholicism and other religions are drawn into the culture wars that have their origin in militant anti-communism and pro-capitalist campaigning.
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Links for today

19 10 2010

Evangelicalism’s Fads and Fixtures: Honestly, I have never thought of the “sinner’s prayer” as a sort of magical incantation, but it makes sense. My only problem with this article is that it seems to pretend that these fads are not what’s normal. Really, this kind of stuff is the future of Christianity; it’s the stuff that is spreading in the Third World, because it is so eminently marketable. Think of it as the religious appendix to Coca Cola and the Wii.
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On the dialectical nature of modern Catholicism

17 08 2010

And notes on modern Pentecostalism

Catholic Dissent – When wrong turns out to be right

Murray was clearly shaken by this clear message to cease and desist. The following year he suffered a heart attack, but after recovery he continued to develop his theory.

By 1954 the Vatican’s patience had been exhausted. A Roman censor forbade the publication of an article that Murray had written and considered crucial to his case. Murray’s Jesuit superior ordered him to cease writing on the subject. When Murray inquired what he could write about, the superior said he might consider poetry…

Armed with all his scholarship, he publicly debated the issues with Fenton and Ottaviani and became a major drafter of the council’s Declaration on Human Freedom. In its final form, approved in a vote by the world’s bishops, 2,308 to 80, in 1965, the declaration said, “This synod declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals, social groups, or any human power . . . This synod further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person, as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and reason itself.” The words reflect Murray’s thinking and may very well have been written by him.
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