history

Martin Luther King in the Era of Occupy

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The prophetic tradition of black Christianity remains alive, if embattled. It is impossible to conceive of the civil rights movement without placing black Christianity at its center, for it empowered the rank and file who made the movement move. And when it moved, it was able to demolish the system of legal segregation. The history of black Christianity in America made that transformation possible, even as it frustrated some of the deeper-rooted aims of some activists who sought to address issues of income and wealth inequality as much as the formal legal structures of “civil rights.” That remains the prophetic task of the generation misleadingly labeled as “post-racial.”

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Selling the Idea of a Christian Nation: David Barton’s Alternate Intellectual Universe

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The issue is not Christian conservatives advocating their views in the public square. The problem, rather, is their claim (at least in places such as The Daily Show or the New York Times) that their Providentialist beliefs and readings of documents from the past represent a kind of legitimate scholarship that should have its place in the public “debate.”

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Tattoos, Cremation, Personal Spirituality: The Jewish World in Transformation

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I think some outsiders still think American Judaism is divided into Reform, Conservative Orthodox. In recent decades, it has become much more pluralistic, with several additional groups that could be seen as fledgling denominations and many others that are floating somewhere between institutional categories. On the other hand, some insiders believe that the American Jewish religious denominational structure has collapsed. 

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