Archive for the ‘history’ Category

The '1 percent' in mainline Protestantism? Congregations attracting young adults

Is there a point of no return for the resurgence of mainline Protestantism? As the movement enters its second half-century of precipitous decline, new research suggests that not only is there no end in sight, but there are few signs of hope for revival in rapidly aging, shrinking groups such as the Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

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The war at home: Four ways good faith can help defeat ISIS

Protect religious freedom. Maintain an independent judiciary. Respect your neighbor. Get to know your neighbors. These are the ways the nation can help reduce the threat of terrorism and preserve civil liberties, research suggests.

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Pope Francis and 6 things you need to know about the Catholic Church in the U.S.

The sky is not falling on the Catholic Church in the United States, but it faces plenty of challenges as it welcomes Pope Francis for a six-day visit. Here are six key areas you may want to keep in mind when considering the evolving state of the nation’s largest religious group.

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Where did all the fundamentalists come from? Google's Ngram Viewer reveals 2 centuries of religious trends

God is not dead. Fundamentalists are seemingly creeping up everywhere. And despite their spectacular growth, Mormons were never more in the public eye than when they were being targeted in the 19th century. These are some of the interesting revelations that are suggested by searching an American literary canon of more than 3 million books from 1800 to 2000.

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Language barriers: Orthodox, Catholic churches face delicate balance in meeting needs of ethnic ministries

Dividing congregations along ethnic lines has allowed many immigrants throughout the last two centuries to find familiar spiritual homes in the United States. But it also left a legacy of many declining congregations or closed churches as parishes failed to adapt to the needs of succeeding generations and changing neighborhood demographics. Many churches serving new immigrants today are also making efforts to integrate them into the larger parish community.

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Creating creationists: Silencing the middle in the science-religion dialogue

The debate about whether science and religion are adversaries often misses the fact that many people are comfortable both with scientific findings on topics such as evolution and the idea God plays a role in the universe. Public opinion surveys that force people to choose between a Darwinian theory of evolution and their personal faith create an artificial division that can misrepresent their positions, research indicates.

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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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As black-white gap widens, Americans do not want to talk about race

New findings from the second wave of a major study on religion and race lay bare the dramatic and growing gap in racial attitudes and experiences in America. We do not live in a post-racial nation, the 2012 Portraits of American Life Study suggests, but in a land of two Americas divided by race, and less willing than ever to find a common ground of understanding.

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Counting Catholics: ‘Church of immigrants’ poised for growth

There is only one U.S. religious group, propelled in part by an enthusiastic group of young followers, that is expected to grow to 100 million adherents by the middle of the century. Yet to hear some critics focus on generational shfts showing declining Mass attendance and doctrinal commitment among white Catholics, one might think the Catholic Church is slowly sinking in the U.S. religious landscape. So which is it for the nation’s largest religious group, growth or decline? The answer is some of both, researchers say.

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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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