Articles from The Atlantic Monthly's archive and related links

"In Search of a Pope" (September 2004)
Media commentators love to speculate about the power politics of the next conclave. They keep forgetting about the most important factor of all. By Paul Elie

"The Next Testament" (March 2004)
If the Bible were being compiled for the first time right now, what would we put in it? Making the case for a NEW new revised standard version. By Cullen Murphy

"Young Fogeys" (January/February 2004)
The new Catholic clerical divide—youthful reactionaries versus aging liberals. By Andrew Greeley

"Defender of the Faith" (November 2003)
Why all Anglican eyes in London are nervously fixed on a powerful African archbishop. By Philip Jenkins

"E.T. and God" (September 2003)
Could earthly religions survive the discovery of life elsewhere in the universe? By Paul Davies

"Holy Writ" (April 2003)
Recent writers on Islam need to be more stringent in their criticism. Stephen Schwartz is an exception. By Christopher Hitchens

"Kicking the Secularist Habit" (March 2003)
A six-step program. By David Brooks

"Varieties of Religious Experience" (November 2002)
A short story by John Updike.

"The Next Christianity" (October 2002)
We stand at a historical turning point, the author argues—one that is as epochal for the Christian world as the original Reformation. Around the globe Christianity is growing and mutating in ways that observers in the West tend not to see. Tumultuous conflicts within Christianity will leave a mark deeper than Islam's on the century ahead. By Philip Jenkins

"A Man On a Gray Horse" (February 2002)
The mid-century theologian Reinhold Niebuhr may have gotten a lot of things wrong—but we could use a thinker like him today. By David Brooks

"Oh, Gods!" (February 2002)
Religions mutate with Darwinian ferocity. Today we are witnessing an unprecedented explosion of new religions—and the "problem religion" of the next century may not be the one you think. By Toby Lester

"A New Counterculture" (November 2001)
The rapid growth of the home-schooling movement owes much to the energy and organizational skills of its Christian advocates. By Margaret Talbot

"Thy Will Be Done" (May 2001)
Blind studies and unanswered prayers. By Cullen Murphy

"One Establishment Meets Another" (May 2001)
Avery Dulles's long journey to the Catholic cardinalate. By J. Bottum

"The Worst Thing About My Church" (January 2001)
A compelling new history of Catholic anti-Semitism. By Charles R. Morris

"The Scholars and the Goddess" (January 2001)
Historically speaking, the "ancient" rituals of the Goddess movement are almost certainly bunk. By Charlotte Allen

"The Opening of the Evangelical Mind" (October 2000)
Of all America's religious traditions, the author writes, evangelical Protestantism, at least in the twentieth-century conservative forms, has long ranked "dead last in intellectual stature." Now evangelical thinkers are trying to revitalize their tradition. Can they turn an intellectual backwater into an intellectual beacon? By Alan Wolfe

"Being Saint Francis" (August 2000)
Scenes from the discomfiting life of Francis of Assisi. By Valerie Martin

"The Trials of the Tribulation" (January 2000)
In the "Left Behind" novels things get very bad—the planet is invaded by "200 million demonic horsemen" for example, and that's before Armageddon and the Last Judgment. By Michael Joseph Gross

"Did Confucius Exist?" (April 1999)
East Asian technocrats and modernists in Beijing, among others, are eagerly embracing an updated Confucianism—even as scholars in the West ask some eyebrow-raising questions. Did the Chinese sage really exist? By Charlotte Allen

"What Is the Koran?" (January 1999)
Researchers with a variety of academic and theological interests are proposing controversial theories about the Koran and Islamic history, and are striving to reinterpret Islam for the modern world. This is, as one scholar puts it, a "sensitive business." By Toby Lester

"Hymn" (July 1998)
The author some years ago became a churchgoer, a "jarringly pale face" in the congregation of a black Baptist church. This is the story of her Sundays. By Emily Hiestand

"The Search for a No-Frills Jesus" (December 1996)
A group of scholars looking for the "real" Jesus—the human figure divested of theological raiment—believe that they have found him in Q, a primitive text whose very existence, let alone content, remains a matter of speculation. By Charlotte Allen

"The Latest Fashion in Irrationality" (July 1996)
When the inner child finds a guardian angel, publishers are in heaven. By Wendy Kaminer

"Welcome to the Next Church" (August 1996)
Seamless multimedia worship, round-the-clock niches of work and service, spiritual guidance, and a place to belong: in communities around the country the old order gives way to the new. By Charles Trueheart

"The Warring Visions of the Religious Right" (November 1995)
A prominent liberal theologian visits Pat Robertson's Regent University, which turns out to be a microcosm of the theological and intellectual turbulence within what is often mistakenly seen as a monolithic "religious right" in America. By Harvey Cox

"The Hands That Would Shape Our Souls" (December 1990)
"Are today's seminarians an indicator species—endangered, fragile, sterile—signaling finally and decisively the end of religion in America as a personal and public force?" By Paul Wilkes

"Can We Be Good Without God?" (December 1989)
Many of the virtues of liberal democracy, such as a belief in the dignity and equality of all people, have strong roots in the union of the spiritual and the political achieved in the vision of Christianity. Can such values survive without these particular roots? An essay on the political meaning of Christianity. By Glenn Tinder

"Who Do Men Say That I Am?" (December 1986)
The study of Jesus has been an extraordinarily active enterprise in recent decades. Though rooted in the past, it is among the least antiquarian of historical or theological pursuits. By Cullen Murphy

"Waiting for the End" (June 1982)
The growing interest in apocalyptic prophesy. By William Martin

"Of Sex and the Catholic Church" (February 1981)
When the bishops' synod on the Christian family convened in Rome last fall, there were hopes that the Church would reform its position on such crucial issues as birth control and divorce. But, despite pleas from liberal prelates around the world, the Vatican-dominated synod reaffirmed the precedence of law over compassion. By Francis X. Murphy, C.S.S.R.

"The Paradoxical Pope" (May 1980)
"There is a growing feeling that the Pope's personal warmth belies his rigid doctrine." By Kati Marton

"America's Catholic Bishops " (April 1967)
Short of the Pope himself, there is no one who can challenge the Catholic bishop for leadership or power in the American church today. By Daniel Callahan

"Catholic and Patriot" (May 1927)
"I should be a poor American and a poor Catholic alike if I injected religious discussion into a political campaign." By Alfred E. Smith

"An Open Letter to the Honorable Alfred E. Smith" (April 1927)
"There is a conflict between authoritative Roman Catholic claims on the one side and our constitutional law and principles on the other." By Charles C. Marshall

"Is There Anything in Prayer?" (October 1921)
"Our desires in prayer are ever being enlarged and enlightened by the inflow upon us of the cosmic desires of God." By J. Edgar Park

More on this issue from Atlantic Unbound:

"Universities and Religious Indifference" (September 1932)
"Religion as a subject for serious intellectual concern enjoys no vogue among the great majority in university halls. It is rarely a subject for serious study, and the students are conspicuously absent from worship." By Bernard Iddings Bell

"What College Did to My Religion" (June 1932)
"Nine young men and women out of ten who will receive their degrees this June would probably admit, if they were called to testify, that education has acted as a poison to their faith." By Philip E. Wentworth

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