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Religion was an important factor in many of 2013's prominent news stories, from ongoing unrest in the Middle East and North Africa to Pope Francis being chosen as Time Magazine's Person of the Year. We asked a range of writers and thinkers to reflect on the past twelve months — the trends they noticed, the books or films that left an impact, the hopes they harbor for the future.

Contributors include Peg Aloi, David Dykes, Peter Laarman, Leah Libresco, Donna Schaper, and Chris Smith.

The Patheos Public Square is produced in partnership with Christianity Today and the Progressive Christian Initiative.


Featured Panelists

Top Ten Movies of 2013 for Pagans

Top Ten Movies of 2013 for Pagans

Peg Aloi, Blogger, "The Witching Hour"

The year's ten best movies for you witchy, tree-hugging, candle-burning, goddess-worshipping, animal-loving, mead-drinking, bonfire-dancing types!

Grim News at Christmas: Don't Look for Light from On High

Grim News at Christmas: Don't Look for Light from On High

David R. Dykes, Dykes Foundation

This light from below, which I believe to be God's light, exposes a society that seems only to know how to reward the wealthiest while ignoring the rest.


Five "Sleeper" Stories from 2013

Rev. Peter Laarman, Progressive Christians Uniting

Five religion stories from 2013 that didn't get as much attention as they deserved.

A Year with Pope Francis

A Year with Pope Francis

Leah Libresco, Blogger, "Unequally Yoked"

In the coming year, I'd like for people to be able to look at my life and think, "If that's what Christianity does, I'd like to know more."

Is Infallibility Fallible?

Is Infallibility Fallible?

Donna Schaper, Judson Memorial Church

From the kind of car he drives to the kind of shoes he wears, Pope Francis demonstrates genuine humility in a milieu where the "holy haughty" have typically — and hypocritically — reigned over Christendom.

The Most Important Book of 2013: Wendell Berry's

The Most Important Book of 2013: Wendell Berry's "This Day"

Chris Smith, Englewood Review of Books

Through his new poetry collection, Wendell Berry guides us forward toward a light of hope, a way that is not defined by progress or profits, but by an increasing attentiveness to our membership in the rich family of nature in our own particular places.