Archive

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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The Pope’s Gay Priests

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Every bishop knows he has gay priests in the ranks—pretending otherwise is surely as much of a moral issue as, say, same-sex marriage. Gay priests work in dioceses and religious orders as pastors, teachers, administrators, right-hand men, chaplains, liturgists and preachers. The bishops know this and yet few are able to speak with the kind of candor the pope manages on a daily basis.

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‘Let It Be Unto Me’: Akin, Rape, and the Early Church

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A pair of historians discuss Republican rep. Todd Akin’s remarks on “legitimate rape”: the female body carries a huge burden of representation: her ability to protect the boundaries of her body, and to maintain her purity, reflects the church’s ability to do the same.

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Is Norway’s Suspected Murderer Anders Breivik a Christian Terrorist?

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If Anders Behring Breivik isn’t a Christian terrorist, then the same can be said of Osama bin Laden and many other Islamist activists—whose writings show that they were much more interested in Islamic history than theology or scripture and imagined themselves as re-creating glorious moments in Islamic history in their own imagined wars.

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