Religion Dispatches: your independent, non-profit, Webby-nominated source for the best writing on critical and timely issues at the intersection of religion, politics and culture.
EDITORIAL MISSION STATEMENT
Religion Dispatches is a secular, independent online magazine that stands at the intersection of religion, politics, and culture.
Where mainstream media too often gives religious ideas a free pass, offering equal time and uncritical presentation, we are committed to the idea that once religion makes its way into the public square it becomes fair game in the rough and tumble of public debate. As editors, we aim to give religious topics some air and light and to challenge easy assumptions about the moral status of religious ideas.
RD contributors are scholars and reporters, activists and professional clergy, and their writing, touching on virtually every contentious issue in political and cultural life, brings depth, clarity, and wit to the public conversation about the role of religion in civic and political life.
What does it mean to cover “religion” as a subject versus preaching, practicing, or promoting it? There’s no disputing the power of the press—or the reach of social media—when levees break or a city is under siege. But the meaning of “religion” itself is not fixed—when you cover a hurricane you don’t get hurricane nonbelievers, or people who believe the hurricane came just for them, or people who think their hurricane is superior to yours.
Is “religion” an historical construction, a Western invention? Is belief critical to religion, or is religion something people do? Is religion a vestige of pre-modernity? Is secularity really religion’s opposite? What about the supernatural?
These are just a few of the questions that inspire RD’s coverage of religion, and its ongoing deep-dive into the role of religion in society.
The stories we assign, edit, and post—all original to the publication—reflect not only the range of our writers’ expertise, but also the fact that they read one another’s work, and are, in a very real way, engaged in a lively and passionate ongoing discussion.
Catholic ex-nuns, secular religion journalists, evangelicals and post-evangelicals, Muslim novelists, Mormon feminists, scholars of Talmud—these are RD’s writers, but also its readers.
We believe we’re creating a new way of thinking about religion in American culture and politics, one that challenges last century’s media dominance by an ultra-conservative fringe, that invites free discussion of religious ideas once they’ve hit the public square—and that keeps us and our readership powerfully engaged.
– The Eds