Archive for the ‘atheist’ Category

How can secular and religious individuals share the same public space? Humility, humility and humility

Lifting up the virtue of humility may seem anachronistic in an age that extols self-adulation. But for Tomas Halik, a Czech priest and philosopher who won the 2014 Templeton Prize, the willingness of religious and secular individuals to engage in dialogue and learn from one another is essential to a civil society. “We must learn to share public space,” Halik declares.

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Dynamic ‘nones’ hold key to future of American religion

The growing number of Americans reporting no religious affiliation are at the center of a debate over whether the United States is inevitably moving toward becoming a more secular nation or is experiencing shifts in the religious marketplace but stability in basic beliefs and behaviors. There are no easy answers. A growing body of evidence reveals a complex portrait of Americans who do not identify with a particular religious group. Many “nones,” some scholars say, find themselves “betwixt and between the religious and the secular, but they are not necessarily on the path to being one or the other.”

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East or West: Talk is cheap when it comes to religious freedoms

When it comes to guaranteeing freedom of religion, the lesson from extensive global research is that it matters much less what nations say in their constitutions than what they are prepared to do to enforce those laws. As new leaders in Egypt and Libya seek to protect hard-won freedoms, and governments from France to the United States struggle with religious diversity, two studies presented at the recent annual meeting of the Association for the Sociology of Religion in Las Vegas illustrate the challenges ahead. One sign of hope: Even if you do not start out loving them, getting to know your neighbor goes a long way to limiting prejudice, research shows.

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Knowing your neighbor is powerful force for civility

Americans have long feared religious groups they do not know. Islam and Buddhism are among the least liked religious expressions in America today. New research, however, indicates it does not have to be this way. Getting to know evangelicals, atheists, Muslims and Buddhists as individuals leads to greater acceptance of people of diverse beliefs, Robert Putnam of Harvard University and David Campbell of the University of Notre Dame suggest in their new book “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us.”

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Paranormal is the new normal in America

Don’t call them oddballs. More than two-thirds of Americans have paranormal beliefs, and the interest in otherworldly possibilities beyond the realm of traditional religions is only expected to increase, sociologists Christopher Bader and F. Carson Mencken of Baylor University and Joseph Baker of East Tennessee State University report in their new book “Paranormal America.” “What we can say with certainty is that we live in a paranormal America.”

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Rising religious tide in China overwhelms atheist doctrine

One of the last great efforts at state-sponsored atheism is a failure. No more than 15 percent of adults in the world’s most populous country are “real atheists;” 85 percent of the Chinese either hold some religious beliefs or practice some kind of religion, according to the Chinese Spiritual Life Survey. In a nation with few sources of independent data on religion, the spiritual life survey represents one of the best pictures to date of the Chinese religious landscape.

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