Archive

Unbuckling the Bible Belt: “Nashville” and the Nones

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The choices and consequences on “Nashville”—ABC’s popular drama, returning on January 15—are shaped not by evangelical faith, but by redemptive crusades to achieve an awkward, messy, and ambiguous sense of moral and musical purity. By exchanging the role of traditional southern Christianity for postmodern Bible Belt spirituality, the show brings the South into conformity with the shifting demographics of the rest of the country.

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As Cambodia Erupts in Protest, a Stolen Buddhist Relic Ignites Anger

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“I was quite shocked upon learning of the relic’s loss,” said former prime minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh in a rare public statement released days after the disappearance. “As a Buddhist and the one who listed Buddhism as the state religion in the 1993 constitution, I am extremely sad, completely grievous for the loss of the Buddha relics which were a happy, peaceful, prosperous, and holy thing for our respectful country.”

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Hell 101: A Back-to-School Reflection on the Persistence of Belief in Eternal Punishment

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Having been taught all their lives that eternal torment is an essential element of Christian belief, my students were, to say the least, surprised at the presence of a universalist strand of thought in the theological tradition—especially coming from such theological heavyweights. What was most surprising to me, though, was their reaction to the teaching: any hint of universal salvation for them negated the whole point of Christianity.

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