Recent Posts

September 14th, 2015

Cosmology and the environment

posted by The Editors

The belief that scientific worldviews provide sufficient information and motivation to galvanize widespread action on environmental issues is gaining adherents both within and beyond the academy. The turn to science for materials from which to construct a new cosmology is evident in a variety of emerging movements that call for an evidence-based global story and a common ethic. Implicit or explicit in these movements is a conviction that existing religious traditions are too parochial (lacking global appeal) and too far removed from scientific realities and contemporary environmental concerns. Proponents of the new cosmology believe that the physical and biological sciences reveal the distinctly storied nature of our cosmos—a story that belongs to all—and that this new cosmology thus invests science with mythic, revelatory power; far from disenchanting our world, science is celebrated as a primary vehicle for restoring wonder, meaning, and value.

Can—and should—a scientific account of the universe function as a global myth? If so, what is the likely impact of contemporary scientific cosmologies on established religious traditions and environment-related beliefs and practices?

Read Cosmology and the environment

July 30th, 2015

Christianity, contemporary legacies, and the critique of secularism

posted by Samuel Moyn

July 28th, 2015

Truth and triviality: Christianity, natural law, and human rights

posted by Samuel Moyn

July 8th, 2015

Where is America in human rights history?

posted by Gene Zubovich

~ More recent posts ~

Recent comments

  • Jack Marsh on Christian human rights—An introduction
  • Zareena Grewal on Queer faiths: Can conversions uncover and unsettle racialized religion?
  • Jason Brown on Cosmology and the environment
  • Joseph Gainza on Cosmology and the environment
  • Simon During on Truth and triviality: Christianity, natural law, and human rights


November 16th, 2015

A clash of secularisms? The German historical experience

posted by Todd Weir

Claims made in the name of secularism vary greatly. At one extreme, self-described secularists in the United States portray their cause as the beleaguered defense of the separation of church and state. As their critics rightly point out, faith in naturalistic worldviews often bubbles up in the fuzzy definitions of secularism that underlie their advocacy. At the other extreme, political and critical theorists use the term as shorthand for a master theory of global modernity. They see secularism as a set of discourses, policies, and constitutional arrangements whereby modern states and liberal elites have sought to regulate religion and, in the process, have contributed to the “immanent frame” in which religion is now located. Rather than advocacy, they see their task as the demystification of secularism.

Read A clash of secularisms? The German historical experience


August 5th, 2015

The public voice of Muslim women

posted by Sindre Bangstad

In an essay here back in 2011, I sounded the alarm about the ubiquity and mainstreaming of hate speech directed against Muslims in Norway. That item was published a mere month before a white, Norwegian, right-wing extremist—who claimed Christian conservative leanings, and who had, since 2006, drenched himself in the netherworld of far-right online conspiracy theories about Islam and Muslims in Europe—committed the worst terrorist attacks in modern Norwegian history, killing seventy-seven people in Oslo and at Utøya on July 22, 2011.

Read The public voice of Muslim women

July 28th, 2015

Featured discussion

The state of religion in China

This discussion brings together scholars to understand the relationship between the state and religion in China—past, present, and future.

Featured publication

Politics of Religious Freedom

In this edited volume, editors Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Saba Mahmood, and Peter Danchin ask contributors about the state of religious freedom today.

Featured interview

American civil religion in the age of Obama

Joseph Blankholm talks with Philip S. Gorski about his forthcoming book on civil religion, Obama’s messianic burden, and the significance of Émile Durkheim.