Over centuries, Christianity has accomplished much which is deserving of praise. Its institutions have fed the hungry, sheltered the homeless, and advocated for the poor. Christian faith has sustained people through crisis and inspired many works for social justice. Although the word "christian" implicates the epitome of goodness, the actual story is much more complex.
That story is explored in Paul Kivel’s new book Living in the Shadow of the Cross- which reveals the ongoing everyday impact of Christian power and privilege on beliefs, behaviors, and public policy.
Religious history was made over the weekend in Albany when the city's first "woman priest" was ordained.
On Sunday, Mary Theresa Streck of Albany was ordained a woman priest in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. A former Sister of St. Joseph, Streck is an artist and peace activist who is cofounder and director of the Ark Community Charter School in Troy.
Mortal Sins: Sex, Crime, and the Era of Catholic Scandal by Michael D'Antonio is an explosive, sweeping account of the scandal that has sent the Catholic Church into a tailspin -- and the brave few who fought for justice.
For many years, Frans de Waal has observed chimpanzees soothe distressed neighbors and bonobos share their food. In The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates, he delivers fascinating fresh evidence for the seeds of ethical behavior in primate societies that further cements the case for the biological origins of human fairness. Interweaving vivid tales from the animal kingdom with thoughtful philosophical analysis, de Waal seeks a bottom-up explanation of morality that emphasizes our connection with animals.
Recent polls and surveys show a huge shift in religious identity in many areas across the country, with attendance at religious services lagging. According to one evangelical marketing group, the once faithful are now identified as "post-Christians," and Albany, New York is number one on a list of the most post-Christian cities in the United States.
Is the nation moving away from Christianity and other forms of conventional faith?
Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas sat down recently with Robert Titov, the Digital Development Director at the Jewish World. They discussed how the paper is adapting to cultural shifts away from traditional print media.
Listen to the interview by clicking on the link provided. You can experience Robert Titov's work by visiting jewishworldnews.org ... you can follow them on twitter at @jw_news and join them on Facebook at jewishworldnews.
In The Myth of Persecution, Candida Moss, a leading expert on early Christianity, reveals how the early church exaggerated, invented, and forged stories of Christian martyrs and how the dangerous legacy of a martyrdom complex is employed today to silence dissent and galvanize a new generation of culture warriors.
According to cherished church tradition and popular belief, before the Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal in the fourth century, early Christians were systematically persecuted by a brutal Roman Empire intent on their destruction.