This spring the television series 'Lost', which achieved cult status over its six seasons, came to an end. Benjamin E. Zeller explores its religious themes and what it says about American religious culture.
What do Christians witness in the land of frequent pilgrimages but also of infrequent visions known popularly as 'the Holy Land', but riven with conflict? Harry Hagopian draws attention to the history and presence of indigenous Christian communities in the region through a personal exploration and pilgrimage.
The willingness to stand out has brought about both a kind of ‘Jewish renaissance’ in Britain and also a very public discourse of insecurity, says Keith Kahn-Harris. But the resulting turbulence that has brought about some very positive outcomes.
The curious case of "King James" LeBron, US basketball player, has produced not just manufactured outrage over disloyalty, but a veritable religious marketplace of allegiances connecting fans, idols and saviours, says M. Cooper Harriss. It can be seen as a peculiarly modern American version of idolatry.
Exorcism and 'deliverance ministries' targeted at gay people and others are on the rise in sections of the church, says Joseph Laycock. But perhaps it is the exchange in which both responsibility and autonomy are forfeited in favour of superstition which is the true “deal with devil.”
Researchers have been looking at ‘Giving USA’ for 2009. While the category of religion may not always overwhelm casual readers of trend-reports, writes Martin E. Marty, religious giving is much watched. And there is much to watch and reflect on.
Cheaply produced (if expensive to consume), Sarah Palin is a popular commodity whose religious saleability is evidenced by the merchandise generated around her, says Jeremy Biles. He compares and contrasts this phenomenon with that of the destroyed 'Touchdown Jesus' statue and asks what the iconography of faith says about actual belief.
The 2010 World Cup will absorb acres of newsprint, whole swathes of the internet and hours of broadcast time in the coming weeks. Ekklesia will offer an alternative perspective - looking at the social justice issues behind the sporting headlines.
Our humanity - with all its redeeming points - can overtake our particular fears, angers and doubts, says Harry Hagopian. For him, an Armenian, a chance encounter with a Turk proved a compass point in this quest and possibility to move beyond confrontation.
A Handbook of Theological Education in World Christianity, released at the Edinburgh 2010 conference, provides "a world-class resource for all of us who feel a need for continuing ecumenical formation", says the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches.
The decline and problems faced by The Crystal Cathedral and other mega-churches has been an occasion for Schadenfreude for those inside and outside the Christian community, says Martin Marty. This is too simple and too judgmental a view.
Football connects people in positive ways, but also exposes the limitations and injustices of human society, says Tinyiko Sam Maluleke, reflecting on modern South Africa, the World Cup, and the challenge of global Christianity.