Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A conversation with Michael Emerson on race, humility and ways we can talk to one another

There are few people better able to offer perspective on the polarized state of the nation today than Michael Emerson. In an interview, Emerson, one of the foremost sociologists on race, religion and civility in the United States, offers incisive observations on how we got to where we are today, and what we can do to promote a more intellectually humble, respectful national dialogue.

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Is Trump capable of change? Not so far, humility scholars reflect

Shortly before the 2016 election, we asked three leading scholars to reflect on humility and the presidency. The hope held out then was that should Trump be successful, the demands of the job would tone down his divisive rhetoric and lead him to become more humble. So how is Trump doing? The consensus in follow-up conversations: Not so good.

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Religious freedom, civility are at heart of struggle for democracy in Asia

Political appeals to religious and secular constituencies have roiled democracies across Asia and the world, prominent journalists, scholars, analysts and religious leaders revealed at a conference in Jakarta. But that does not mean Islam or other major religions are incompatible with democracy, participants noted. What does matter is that the religious freedoms and dignity of all groups are protected and respected.

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Not just a joke: Studies find religious humor can break through prejudice, build social ties

Jokes about religion should be left to the professionals, not the politicians, a comprehensive new survey of religion and humor finds. The research is part of a larger project involving several Scandinavian studies on religion and humor that indicate support for a less hostile, more nuanced approach to religious humor that has the potential to break through the polarization in the West over perceived threats from immigrants and religious minorities.

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Culture matters: Reconciling faith and homosexuality across borders

No one factor tells the whole story of why attitudes toward homosexuality vary widely across national borders. But new research is helping to unravel why, despite the fact most world religions have proscriptions against homosexual practices, some nations are much more tolerant than others.

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Studies: How clergy can help believers die a 'good death'

Two new studies find that many clergy are both ill-prepared and reluctant to fully engage in end-of-life conversations with terminally ill congregation members and their families. The result, the studies suggest, is that more believers may be spending their final days enduring painful treatments with little chance of success.

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Crime stoppers: Black church significant deterrent to violence

A new study analyzing data from 733 U.S. counties encompassing more than 80 percent of the black population revealed that homicide, robbery, burglary and larceny rates all decreased the more people in the county were active in black Protestant churches. And where it can do the most good, in areas with high rates of poverty and unemployment, the black church is doing the most good, the study found.

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A profile in intellectual humility: Templeton Prize winner builds place for God in philosophy

Alvin Plantinga started out at a time when much of the academic community in philosophy was hostile to the idea of belief in God. Yet he became a leading figure in making belief in a divine reality an option to take seriously. More than a half-century later, his work in such areas as free will and evil, the role of God in the universe and the compatibility of science and religion continues to be a major influence in philosophy.

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Left behind? Evangelical Christians and campus diversity

As inclusivity becomes a priority on campuses, the door is opening for greater sensitivity for all religious groups, including evangelical Christians, new research indicates. One major study found that getting to know evangelicals in settings from general spiritual activities on campus to classroom discussions on diversity led to greater appreciation even among groups that included their harshest critics.

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Study: Many physicians don't keep faith in their doctor's bag

In this era of increasing patient-centered care, many doctors still are reluctant to talk to their patients about religion. But physicians who are both spiritual and religious are more likely to believe that faith can be medically relevant.

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