Is the Islamic terrorism threat overblown?

Yonat Shimron |

(RNS) After a car bomb detonated on Wall Street one minute past the noon lunch hour killing 38 people, federal investigators came up with a possible link to an overseas group. Islamic terrorists? Al-Qaida? No, Italian anarchists. The year was 1920, and in those days anarchists were the equivalent of today’s terrorists, waging acts of […]

With spotlight on Mormon faith, scholars gather to defend it

Peggy Fletcher Stack |

(RNS) Mormon founder Joseph Smith may have declared all churches to be wrong, even apostate, but he also defined Mormonism as “an inclusivist faith that not only sees and appreciates goodness and truth in other religious traditions but is willing to acknowledge divine action in those other traditions.” That’s according to Brigham Young University Islamic […]

What’s behind China’s hard line against Catholics?

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) When China’s state-run Catholic Church ordained a new bishop for the Diocese of Shantou last Thursday (July 14) without the Vatican’s approval, it represented the latest step back from years of progress in a complex relationship. Yet the main causes for the shift may have little to do with Rome, experts say, […]

Tuesday’s Religion News Roundup

Today’s Wordsmith word of the day is Laodicean, which means lukewarm or indifferent, especially regarding religion. As in, many American newspaper editors display a laodicean attitude toward people of faith. The word derives from Laodicea, a city in Asia Minor whose apathetic citizens were rebuked in the Book of Revelation. Enthusiastic pagans and New Agers […]

Religious art: fig leaf or full frontal?

Peggy Fletcher Stack |

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) The Rev. France Davis doesn’t want any nude Adam-and-Eve figures at his Calvary Baptist Church — even if they were painted by the famed Michelangelo himself. Davis is unequivocal in his view that there is nothing inspiring or redeeming about naked figures in religious art. “Since we sinned, as it said […]

How didst the KJV come to be?

Peggy Fletcher Stack |

(RNS) The King James Bible, translated from ancient Greek and Hebrew in 1611, is, by virtually all accounts, the most awe-inspiring work of English prose ever written. Over the past four centuries, the KJV has sold more than 5 billion copies. Its exquisite English text has circulated the globe in the hands of missionaries and […]

The Opus Dei film that isn’t really about Opus Dei

Nicole Neroulias |

(RNS) Would you rather see a movie about a sinner or a saint? The marketing team for the new Roland Joffe film, “There Be Dragons,” is going for a little of both. The film tells the story of St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, the founder of the Opus Dei order that was last seen on […]

Monday’s Religion News Roundup

Forty-three years ago today, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot dead in Memphis. A new biography published today about his ideological rival, Macolm X, suggests a New Jersey Muslim was responsible for X’s assassination. Afghan protests over the burning of a Quran in Florida continued Sunday for a third day, with three more […]

Thursday’s Religion News Roundup

The worst of the Great Recession may be over for some churches, according to a new survey. Forty-three percent of churches reported a rise in contributions last year; 39 percent saw a decline. Both are improvements over 2009. Someone dropped a $30,000 lottery ticket in the collection plate of a Maryland church. The House voted […]

Tuesday’s Religion News Roundup

In the wake of disaster, even proudly secular Japan will be turning toward ancient traditions such as Buddhism and Shintoism, according to CNN and USA Today. Christians in Japan continue to look for survivors, as U.S.-based religious relief organizations began to send teams to the devastated nation. In other news, the Vatican kicked off its […]