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May 9, 2008

They say that there's no sound if a tree falls in the forest and there's no one there to hear it. Likewise, if the tree falls in a thunderstorm, perhaps there's no noise because the air waves are already full.

In 1998, the bishops of the Anglican Communion said that we "commit ourselves...

April 15, 2008

There is no manual. I checked. There is no manual that could have told me how to deal with a day like April 16, 2007, or the days and weeks and months that have followed. After five years of ministry with the students, faculty, staff and administration of Virginia Tech, I knew this campus and...

April 10, 2008

A friend of mine who is a Harvard-educated attorney and former Episcopalian recently announced that she had become an "evangelical Christian." What she meant by that statement was that she had joined the growing ranks of Americans attending a non-denominational megachurch, this one in Southern...

April 7, 2008

If "art is the language of the soul," as Robert Redford said at the Sundance Film Festival this year, I look at the "souls" of most of the Academy Award nominees for best picture and see dead people.

Since the 1960s, film has increasingly been the place where we do our theological work...

March 31, 2008

My first reaction to the much-publicized U.S. Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life was, "Hooray for common sense!"

In finding that 44 percent of Americans change their religious affiliation as they grow up, the survey proved that religious life isn't...

March 27, 2008

The humanitarian crisis unleashed by the Iraq war comes into dramatic focus inside a detention center beneath a highway in Beirut.

Packed cells hold scores of Iraqi refugees. Men and women who fled a shattered country now wait in silence underground as bureaucracies slowly churn and the...

March 13, 2008

It's Spring break. Let's go tour a slum.

A recent New York Times story told of tourist trips through some of the most dangerous shanty-towns on earth. You can go sightseeing in Rochina, the largest of Rio de Janiero's 750 favelas. Or you can visit Dharavi, the biggest slum in India....

February 28, 2008

Are all saints crazy? Or, do you have to be crazy to be a saint?

Joy Behar, a panelist on ABC's "The View," said potential saints are medicated out of a job. "I have a theory," she said, "that you can't find any saints any more because of psychotropic medication.

"I think that in...

February 25, 2008

My writing world has gone topsy-turvy.

First, I started using an iMac at work -- not all that different from Windows, but different enough to require learning.

Second, with two business trips coming up, I began looking for ways to escape schlepping a heavy Dell laptop through...

February 21, 2008

So I guess this will be another "confessions of a former talk show host" column.

In the 1990s, soon after the Republicans released their "Contract with America," the Christian Coalition released its "Christian Contract with America." It seemed transparently similar, so when Christian...

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