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.