religion

  When Sukey Forbes lost her six-year-old daughter, Charlotte, to a rare genetic disorder, her life felt as if it were shattered forever. Descended from two distinguished New England families, Forbes was raised in a rarefied—if eccentric—life of privilege. Yet, Forbes’s family history is also rich with spiritual seekers, including her great-great-great-grandfather Ralph Waldo Emerson. On the family’s private island enclave off Cape Cod, apparitions have always been as common as the servants who once walked the back halls. But the “afterlife” took on new meaning once Forbes dipped into the world of clairvoyants to reconnect with Charlotte.

With a mission to help others by sharing her own story, Forbes chronicles a world of ghosts that reawakens us to a lost American spiritual tradition. The Angel in My Pocket tells a moving tale of one mother’s undying love for her child.

Listener Essay - A Passover Story

Apr 3, 2015

  Tina Lincer is a writer living in Loudonville, NY. 

Pope Francis has brought something controversial to the papacy—the prospect of change. In his new book, The Future of the Catholic Church with Pope Francis, Gary Wills, New York Times best selling author of Why Priests?: A Failed Tradition and What Jesus Meant, takes on one of the most pressing questions in modern religion today: what does the future hold for the Catholic Church?

Gary Wills is a historian, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and professor emeritus at Northwestern University. He joins The Roundtable today to discuss the novel behavior of the current pope and his own opinions on the future of the papacy.

  In recent years, there have been major outbreaks of whooping cough among children in California, mumps in New York, and measles in Ohio’s Amish country—despite the fact that these are all vaccine-preventable diseases.

While America is the most medically advanced place in the world, many people bypass modern medicine in favor of using their faith to fight life threatening illnesses.

According to our next guest, children suffer and die every year from treatable diseases, and in most states it is legal for parents to deny their children care for religious reasons.

Dr. Paul Offit is a Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. His new book is Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine.

  Austen Ivereigh is a British writer, journalist, and commentator on religious and political affairs who holds a PhD from Oxford University. His work appears regularly in the Jesuit magazine America and in many other periodicals. He is well known on British media, especially on the BBC, Sky, ITV and Al-Jazeera, as a Catholic commentator.

Ivereigh has written a biography of Pope Francis that describes how this revolutionary thinker will use the power of his position to challenge and redirect one of the world's most formidable religions. The book is The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope.

    

  Although our country is still very much identified as “one nation under God,” the truth is the number of nonreligious Americans is precipitously rising. Back in the 1950s, fewer than 5 percent of Americans were nonreligious; today, that figure has jumped to 30 percent.

Drawing on sociological research and extensive in-depth interviews with men and women across the country, sociologist Phil Zuckerman’s Living the Secular Life illuminates this demographic shift with the moral convictions that govern secular individuals.

  Critically acclaimed and bestselling author James Carroll has explored every aspect of Christianity, faith, and Jesus Christ except this central one: What can we believe about—and how can we believe in—Jesus in the twenty-first century in light of the Holocaust and other atrocities of the twentieth century and the drift from religion that followed?

In Christ Actually: The Son of God for the Secular Age, Carroll explores how one can retrieve transcendent faith in modern times.

  For the first time, religious self-identification is on the decline in American. Some analysts have cited as cause a post-9/11 perception: that faith in general is a source of aggression, intolerance, and divisiveness—something bad for society. But how accurate is that view?

In her book, Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence, Karen Armstrong sets out to discover the truth about religion and violence in each of the world’s great traditions, taking us on an astonishing journey from prehistoric times to the present.

wikipedia commons

Recent grassroots efforts have prevented the razing of churches that have been closed for a number of years in Berkshire County. But the victories for preservationists don’t change the underlying issue, part of a national trend: many congregations are simply struggling to survive. In part two of a two-part series, this story takes a look at how some religious organizations in the Berkshires are having success in reaching more people.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Recent grassroots efforts have prevented the razing of churches that have been closed for a number of years in Berkshire County. But the victories for preservationists don’t change the underlying issue, part of a national trend: many congregations are simply struggling to survive. In part one of a two-part series, this story takes a look at how active people are in existing religious organizations in the area.

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