(Culture) War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning

By Christopher Pieper and Nathaniel Dietrick, Baylor University. In 2002, a year after America became embroiled in the War on Terror, journalist Chris Hedges published his insightful book, War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning. There he relives his experiences as a reporter in many battle zones and beseeches American readers to consider the reasons for which they are consenting to war. But somewhere along the way, Hedges abandons the greater argument that the title implies. He … [Read more...]

Christianity and Culture in the 2016 Election

By Jim Rotholz.a katz / Shutterstock.com  Election years reveal much about American culture that otherwise lies hidden from view. The 2016 presidential contest has been especially revealing, exposing a modern-day form of tribalism that afflicts Americans across the political spectrum.One essential trait of tribal affiliation is establishing social borders: line-drawing, “us” versus “them,” “our people” against “not our people.” In the American political arena it has devolved i … [Read more...]

Time for a New Political Expression

By Jyl Hall Smith.It is abundantly clear that Christians have divergent opinions on last week’s Supreme Court rulings regarding gay marriage and the Affordable Care Act. However, what becomes unclear in these times is how much Americans have in common in their political views. Pew research did a 25-year study, published in 2012, on trends in American values. They found that independents are the largest voting block at 38 percent, and that half of all independents, Democrats, and Republicans c … [Read more...]

Lecrae: A Modern-Day Psalmist Voices the Messiness of Humanity Through Hip-Hop

By Claudia May In the world of Christian hip-hop Lecrae, is a pioneer and a visionary and could even be considered to be the godfather of Christian rap. He has recorded seven highly acclaimed albums and two mixtapes. The recipient of a Grammy, Dove, and Stellar award, he is the co-founder and president of Reach Records, an independent record label dedicated to the creation of quality Christian rap. In October 2014, I had the privilege of meeting Lecrae and interviewing him as he continued … [Read more...]

The Scholars: An Alternative Story about Wendy Doniger and “The Hindus”

By Vamsee JuluriImagine this:A book called The Women, written by a man who claims to be an expert on women.A book called The Poor, written by a millionaire who read a few books on poverty (written mostly by other rich people).A book called The Gays, written by a heterosexual who insists he loves them even if his subjects say he is quite homophobic.Now consider a book called The Hindus. It is written not by someone who grew up as a Hindu, in a Hindu household, or presumably, … [Read more...]

“Judaism” or “Jewishness”?

By Shalom Goldman, Duke UniversityEarlier this month the pop star Madonna, accompanied by her ex-husband film director Guy Ritchie, celebrated her son Rocco's Bar Mitzvah at the Kabbalah center in NYC.That neither parent, nor their 13-year-old son, was Jewish, didn't disturb the celebrity journalists and paparazzi who covered the story, and the fact was not made much of in US Weekly, the celebrity magazine that broke the story. Within Israel, where Madonna is a frequent visitor, the Bar M … [Read more...]