Amitai Etzioni presents a thought-provoking analysis of contemporary society and culture from a communitarian perspective. Included in his analysis are some interesting comments on religion. Read his entire article at The American Scholar: The American Scholar: “We Must Not Be Enemies” – Amitai Etzioni
But Jesus-centered faith needs a new name. Christians have retired outdated labels before. During the late 19th century, when scientific rationalism fueled the questioning of Scripture, “fundamentalism” arose as an intelligent defense of Christianity. By the 1930s, however, fundamentalism was seen as anti-intellectual and judgmental. It was then that the term “evangelicalism” was put forward by Christianity Today’s first editor, Carl F. H. Henry, as a new banner under which a broad coalition of Jesus followers could unite.
More on “evangelicalism” now, from Tony Campolo and Shane Claiborne in an op-ed in the New York Times: The Evangelicalism of Old White Men Is Dead – The New York Times
Dordt College alumna and Calvin College historian Kristin Du Mez offers some reflections on Hillary Clinton’s religious faith in light of her election defeat. (Du Mez is working on a book about Clinton’s faith.) Read Du Mez’s piece here at The Anxious Bench: Hillary Clinton’s Spiritual Stamina
The reasons for Trump’s win are obvious, if you know where to look. It has to do with class (more than gender or religion). Or so argues Joan C. Williams in the Harvard Business Review: What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class
Plato proposed a republic run by enlightened philosophers, and [Charles] Taylor has some ideas about what he might do if he were in charge. In big cities, he told me, it’s easy for people to feel engaged in the project of democracy; they’re surrounded by the drama of inclusion. But in the countryside, where jobs are disappearing, main streets are empty, and church attendance is down, democracy seems like a fantasy, and people end up “sitting at home, watching television. Their only contact with the country’s problems is a sense that everything’s going absolutely crazy. They have no sense of control.” He advocates raising taxes and giving the money to small towns, so that they can rebuild. He is in favor of localism and “subsidiarity”—the principle, cited by Alexis de Tocqueville and originating in Catholicism, that problems should be solved by people who are nearby. Perhaps, instead of questing for political meaning on Facebook and YouTube, we could begin finding it in projects located near to us. By that means, we could get a grip on our political selves, and be less inclined toward nihilism on the national scale. (It would help if there were less gerrymandering and money in politics, too.)
Read more about Canadian Catholic Charles Taylor’s views on the U.S., democracy, and our election here at the New Yorker: How to Restore Your Faith in Democracy – The New Yorker
If the Southern Baptist church can’t be bigger, Russell Moore wants it to be better. Read Kelefah Sanneh’s fascinating New Yorker report here: The New Evangelical Moral Minority – The New Yorker