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May 25th, 2016

Faithfully Secular?

posted by Andrew Forsyth

Resurrecting DemocracyCommunity organizing is faith-based, at least in its best-known form. Since the 1940s, organizers in the mold of Saul Alinsky have worked with local congregations and civic groups to identify issues of shared interest and to marshal energies into action for social and economic change. Scholarship on community organizing, however, is surprisingly sparse. Work that treats religion non-reductively—as more than an interchangeable component in organizing—is sparser still. There are fine sociological studies, and earlier this century, reports of Barack Obama’s three years in Chicago brought bursts of scholarly and journalistic attention. But with Resurrecting Democracy: Faith, Citizenship, and the Politics of a Common Life, Luke Bretherton joins Romand Coles and Jeffrey Stout as one of the few scholars who treat community organizing as essential to discussions of political theory and the place of religion in the public square.

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May 17th, 2016

The challenges of “resurrecting democracy”: Lessons from London

posted by Jane Wills

May 11th, 2016

Revitalizing the power of the great in-between

posted by Michael Allen Gillespie

May 5th, 2016

Paradoxes of international religious freedom

posted by Elizabeth A. Castelli

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May 12th, 2016

On France’s theologico-political crisis

posted by Michael C. Behrent
Dual CoversNations have different ways of talking about themselves. Americans tend to discuss their country in an idiom of national greatness, however radically they may disagree about the nature of this providential blessing. The French, on the contrary, make berating their country a national sport. Anyone who has recently spent time in France has heard the exasperation with which its citizens are prone to speak of their homeland, often describing it as “little country” whose glory days are behind it. Such talk is hardly new. In the 1930s, the writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline—a master in the genre—mused about his nation’s fate: “We’ll disappear body and soul from this place like the Gauls … They left us hardly twenty words of their own language. We’ll be lucky if anything more than ‘merde’ survives us.”

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April 25th, 2016

Satire and policing the boundary of free expression

posted by Peter Ronald deSouza
Carlyle Lectures PosterNow that Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel has permitted the prosecution of German satirist Jan Boehmermann the time has come to fully wade into the free speech debate and take it beyond the question of policing the boundaries of a democratic society. Commenting on this decision, The Guardian criticized Merkel for tarnishing “her country’s reputation for freedom.” While the familiar issues of Europe’s core values—learning by the minority to develop a culture of laughing at oneself; of intolerance, bigotry, and micro-aggression against Islamic communities; of a new idea of plural Europe, with new rules of living together differently, that is in the making—will be played out as the controversy develops, the case of the German satirist opens the door to new issues for deliberation.

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Religion and digital culture

In this series on thinking about religion in a digital age, scholars and journalists consider their respective crafts and the media through which they practice.

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Invisible Hands

For God and Globe CoverInvisible Hands explores the proliferating language of self-organization in the eighteenth-century West across a range of disciplines.

Featured essay

Queer faiths: Can conversions uncover and unsettle racialized religion?

Word CloudSociologist Jana Glaese asks what conversions in Germany and the United States can tell us about the entanglements of race and religion?