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Leper Messiah: A Jesus Freak’s Search for the Meaning of Bowie—A Critical Novella

…plays of beatified passion and, more generally, a middle-class, white (read: toned-down) version of the exuberant call-and-response dynamic that has animated black Pentecostal churches and Southern white revival meetings for generations. On October 25, 1974, as on most Friday nights, Abba’s house band Hebron churned out folk-rock worship music, original tunes that gene-spliced David Crosby and King Crimson—a progressive take on what would come to

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Pigging Out: What ‘Radically Unkosher’ Jewish Foodies Like Michael Pollan Are Missing

…s recommendation but it’s not hard to tease out implicit arguments in favor: pigs eat just about anything, convert plant energy to animal comestibility with great efficiency, breed easily and rapidly, and require relatively little management. Raised the right way, they offer enormous benefits to small-scale farms as biological systems. On one level, then, Pollan constructs human omnivory as an ideal; being willing to eat pig or any species, if eth…

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What Irish Marriage Vote Means for Catholic Church; The Lonely Fight for Equality in Belize; Progress and Backlash in Tunisia; Global LGBT Recap

…ion to LGBT equality globally. Alex White, the Irish government’s minister for communications, said, “This didn’t change Ireland — it confirmed the change. We can no longer be regarded as the authoritarian state we once might have been perceived to be. This marks the true separation of church and state.” After the vote results were announced last Saturday, the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said that the Catholic Church “needs to have a real…

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What’s Islamophobia, and Do I Have It?

…erly incapable of the same when it comes to “the other.” Here’s what I mean: for Richardson, Islam is a single, pseudo-religious, practically Satanic political project, realized through a totalitarian Islamic Caliphate that was birthed in 622 and continues through 1923. Predictably Richardson never marshals evidence for this absurd claim of historical continuity, because that would be impossible, no matter how many maps he superimposes onto anothe…

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This Narrative of Death that is So Powerful Among Us

…nd say, “Oh Schultz, you blew it.” Walter: [laughing] I won’t say that. Dan: For the therapeutic script, I talked about abortion. Not in that sense of abortion is an elective procedure and therefore should be not done. It’s not selfish in that sense. But where I took it was to say, like Hauerwas does, that sexual relationships are relationships of power, and once you understand that, you understand that the consequences of sexual relationships are…

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Blankets, Booties, and Jesus: Spiritual War on the Uterus in Rick Perry’s Texas

…ion and a higher risk of breast cancer and future infertility, in addition to: “serious psychological effects… including depression, grief, anxiety, lowered self-esteem, regret, suicidal thoughts and behavior, sexual dysfunction, avoidance of emotional attachment, flashbacks, and substance abuse.” While abortion hasn’t played a central role in the presidential campaign, that, too, is a product of the shift in strategy: anti-choice activists are fo…

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7 Women Scholars On the Gender Divide in Religious Studies, the Power of Mentors, and Leading While Female

…ng to ask questions from new perspectives. THE GENDER DIVIDE Nancy Ammerman: For a long time, we saw work in the sociology of religion divided by gender, which was largely part of a quantitative/qualitative divide. There was, and still is, a strong tendency for men to be more likely to work with survey data and statistical analyses that reveal big trends. And even when men do qualitative work, they have been more likely to take up theological ques…

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Trump Order A ‘Death Sentence’ For Some LGBT Refugees? Global LGBT Recap

…rump’s “sweeping, poorly constructed, and unconstitutional” executive order: “Today, our community can breathe a bit easier knowing that judges across the country have agreed that there is a strong chance that they will find that the order is unlawful or unconstitutional. Allowing it to stay in place while it is reviewed would have caused irreparable harm to hundreds of thousands of people, including thousands of LGBTQ and HIV-positive people from…

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As Transition Looms, Jewish Studies is Mired in Controversy

…se. It could be political in all kinds of ways (in the sense of pertaining to how human beings are supposed to live in the world), as knowledge and politics are almost always intertwined. But it should never function as an arm of advocacy. For anything. When it does, as Neusner argued, and even as Greenberg acknowledged, it forfeits a claim to be academic and its place within the university. Kletenik and Neis stress that “We resist a false binary…

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Betrayed at the Polls, Evangelicals of Color at a Crossroads

…reconciliation,” something I write about in depth in my book Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism. The movement gained traction in the mid-1970s when black and white evangelical leaders tried working together. At the seminal Thanksgiving Workshops, annual meetings in which evangelical luminaries tried forging a progressive coalition, black leaders like John Perkins and William Pannell advanc…

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