The Week: Most Recent Religion Postshttp://theweek.com/section/index/religionMost recent posts.en-usFri, 18 Apr 2014 08:30:00 -0400http://theweek.comhttp://theweek.com/images/logo_theweek.pngMost Recent Religion Posts from THE WEEKFri, 18 Apr 2014 08:30:00 -0400How moderns celebrate Good Friday and Easterhttp://theweek.com/article/index/260167/how-moderns-celebrate-good-friday-and-easterhttp://theweek.com/article/index/260167/how-moderns-celebrate-good-friday-and-easter<img src="http://media.theweek.com/img/dir_0117/58991_article_main/w/240/h/300/a-good-friday-re-enactment-in-phoenix.jpg?204" /></P><p ><em> I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD... For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:31&ndash;32, 34)</em></p><p class="p2">As Holy Week for Christians comes to its crescendo on Good Friday, I'm more and more impressed with the way believers personally experience the crucifixion as a symphony of ironies that play out in the traditional liturgy...</p> <a href="http://theweek.com/article/index/260167/how-moderns-celebrate-good-friday-and-easter">More</a>By <a href="/author/michael-brendan-dougherty" ><span class="byline">Michael Brendan Dougherty</span></a>Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:30:00 -0400Why Good Friday is so important to Christianshttp://theweek.com/article/index/260049/why-good-friday-is-so-important-to-christianshttp://theweek.com/article/index/260049/why-good-friday-is-so-important-to-christians<img src="http://media.theweek.com/img/dir_0117/58922_article_main/w/240/h/300/christianity-is-the-only-religion-founded-by-a-man-who-said-im-god-come-to-find-you.jpg?204" /></P><p>As I explained on Holy Thursday yesterday, for most Christians, this is the most important week of the year. We are commemorating the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.</p><p>Jesus had his last meal with his disciples on the evening of a <span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1250106325" tabindex="0">Thursday </span>(commemorated as Holy <span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1250106326" tabindex="0">Thursday</span>), was arrested during the night, tried Friday morning (Good <span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1250106328" tabindex="0">Friday</span>), condemned, crucified, and died before sundown on Friday. And, according to the Gospel accounts, he was bodily raised from the dead on the third day &mdash; <span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1250106329" tabindex="0">Sunday</span>, the day of Easter.</p><p>That Jesus of Nazareth was executed on a cross is pretty...</p> <a href="http://theweek.com/article/index/260049/why-good-friday-is-so-important-to-christians">More</a>By <a href="/author/pascal-emmanuel-gobry" ><span class="byline">Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry</span></a>Fri, 18 Apr 2014 07:00:00 -0400Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religionhttp://theweek.com/article/index/260172/why-atheism-doesnt-have-the-upper-hand-over-religionhttp://theweek.com/article/index/260172/why-atheism-doesnt-have-the-upper-hand-over-religion<img src="http://media.theweek.com/img/dir_0117/58992_article_main/w/240/h/300/can-atheism-explain-self-sacrifice.jpg?204" /></P><p>In my last column, I examined some of the challenges facing religion today. Those challenges are serious. But that doesn't mean that atheism has the upper hand. On the contrary, as I've argued many times before, atheism in its currently fashionable form is an intellectual sham. As Exhibit 653, I give you Jerry Coyne's latest diatribe in <em>The</em> <em>New Republic</em>, which amounts to a little more than an inadvertent confession that he's incapable of following a philosophical argument.</p><p>Atheism shouldn't be wholly identified with the confusions of its weakest exponents any more than we should reduce religious...</p> <a href="http://theweek.com/article/index/260172/why-atheism-doesnt-have-the-upper-hand-over-religion">More</a>By <a href="/author/damon-linker" ><span class="byline">Damon Linker</span></a>Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:00:00 -0400Why Holy Thursday is so important to Christianshttp://theweek.com/article/index/260048/why-holy-thursday-is-so-important-to-christianshttp://theweek.com/article/index/260048/why-holy-thursday-is-so-important-to-christians<img src="http://media.theweek.com/img/dir_0117/58921_article_main/w/240/h/300/the-commemoration-of-the-last-supper.jpg?204" /></P><p>For most Christians, this week &mdash; Holy Week &mdash; is the most important week of the year.</p><p>Holy Week culminates in the Paschal Triduum, the three days commemorating the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Many Christians prepare for this event with 40 days of fasting, prayer, and alms giving.<br /> <br />Jesus had his last meal &mdash; a Jewish Passover meal &mdash; with his disciples on the evening of a <span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1250106325" tabindex="0"><span class="aQJ">Thursday</span></span> (commemorated as Holy <span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1250106326" tabindex="0"><span class="aQJ">Thursday</span></span>), was arrested during the night, tried Friday morning (Good <span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1250106328" tabindex="0"><span class="aQJ">Friday</span></span>), and condemned, crucified, and dead before sundown on Friday. And, according...</p> <a href="http://theweek.com/article/index/260048/why-holy-thursday-is-so-important-to-christians">More</a>By <a href="/author/pascal-emmanuel-gobry" ><span class="byline">Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry</span></a>Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:07:00 -0400Why would a young person today be religious?http://theweek.com/article/index/260095/why-would-a-young-person-today-be-religioushttp://theweek.com/article/index/260095/why-would-a-young-person-today-be-religious<img src="http://media.theweek.com/img/dir_0117/58944_article_main/w/240/h/300/easter-selfie.jpg?204" /></P><p>This week millions of Jews in America and around the world celebrate the holiday of Passover. Meanwhile, millions of Christians are preparing to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday and rejoice in his resurrection on Easter Sunday three days later.</p><p>And then there's everyone else.</p><p>I don't mean Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists and adherents of many other smaller faiths around the globe. I'm talking about the growing number of people, mainly in the U.S. and Europe, who couldn't care less about religious holidays and rituals. These are the "nones" &mdash; the roughly one fifth...</p> <a href="http://theweek.com/article/index/260095/why-would-a-young-person-today-be-religious">More</a>By <a href="/author/damon-linker" ><span class="byline">Damon Linker</span></a>Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:04:00 -0400Why the U.S. should step away from Israel-Palestine negotiations -- for goodhttp://theweek.com/article/index/259957/why-the-us-should-step-away-from-israel-palestine-negotiations--for-goodhttp://theweek.com/article/index/259957/why-the-us-should-step-away-from-israel-palestine-negotiations--for-good<img src="http://media.theweek.com/img/dir_0117/58883_article_main/w/240/h/300/the-window-for-a-two-state-solution-closed-a-long-time-ago.jpg?204" /></P><p><br /></p><p>The Israel-Palestine movie has been stuck on a loop for a long time. It's time now to admit we've seen enough &mdash; and exit the theater.</p><p>Nearly 24 years ago, then- Secretary of State James Baker sat before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, rattled off the White House phone number and told the Israeli government, via his interlocutors, "When you're serious about peace, call us." Baker delivered his blunt ultimatum in response to Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's ostensible disregard for a U.S. diplomatic initiative aimed at bringing a negotiated resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute...</p> <a href="http://theweek.com/article/index/259957/why-the-us-should-step-away-from-israel-palestine-negotiations--for-good">More</a>By Lisa GoldmanWed, 16 Apr 2014 09:20:00 -0400Jesus may have had a wife. But that doesn't mean women will become priests.http://theweek.com/article/index/259883/jesus-may-have-had-a-wife-but-that-doesnt-mean-women-will-become-priestshttp://theweek.com/article/index/259883/jesus-may-have-had-a-wife-but-that-doesnt-mean-women-will-become-priests<img src="http://media.theweek.com/img/dir_0117/58851_article_main/w/240/h/300/catholics-may-be-pondering-more-than-the-mysteries-of-the-resurrection-this-easter.jpg?204" /></P><p>Holy Week began yesterday at churches around the world with the observance of Palm Sunday. Over the next six days, Christians will commemorate Jesus Christ's Last Supper, his tribulation in the Garden of Gethsemane, his arrest and trial before Pontius Pilate, his crucifixion at Calvary, and finally, on Easter morning, his resurrection.</p><p>And thanks to a tiny piece of papyrus (it measures 4 by 8 centimeters), at least some of those Christians will be wondering whether Jesus was mourned in death by a spouse whom he considered one of his disciples. When the fragment was unveiled in 2012 by a historian...</p> <a href="http://theweek.com/article/index/259883/jesus-may-have-had-a-wife-but-that-doesnt-mean-women-will-become-priests">More</a>By <a href="/author/damon-linker" ><span class="byline">Damon Linker</span></a>Mon, 14 Apr 2014 06:07:00 -0400For Christians, a silver lining to losing the culture war?http://theweek.com/article/index/259131/for-christians-a-silver-lining-to-losing-the-culture-warhttp://theweek.com/article/index/259131/for-christians-a-silver-lining-to-losing-the-culture-war<img src="http://media.theweek.com/img/dir_0117/58560_article_main/w/240/h/300/back-in-the-50s-a-lot-of-americans-presented-themselves-as-ward-cleaver-but-drank-and-philandered.jpg?204" /></P><p>As I wrote last year, the culture war is over, and conservatives lost. For Christians, though, there might just be a silver lining.</p><p>Now, of course, it's understandable why many of my fellow cultural conservatives mourn the decline of Christian values in the public arena, inasmuch as they had a powerful influence on the rise of western civilization. Historians like Rodney Stark and sociologists like Mary Eberstadt (and many others) have chronicled this phenomenon. It's not simply about "losing power and market share," but mourning the very real downstream effects of secular liberal policies on...</p> <a href="http://theweek.com/article/index/259131/for-christians-a-silver-lining-to-losing-the-culture-war">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Thu, 03 Apr 2014 10:40:00 -0400How Pope Benedict unwittingly made the Catholic case for 'conscious uncoupling'http://theweek.com/article/index/259030/how-pope-benedict-unwittingly-made-the-catholic-case-for-conscious-uncouplinghttp://theweek.com/article/index/259030/how-pope-benedict-unwittingly-made-the-catholic-case-for-conscious-uncoupling<img src="http://media.theweek.com/img/dir_0116/58497_article_main/w/240/h/300/the-anomaly-of-pope-benedict-xvis-actions-could-pave-the-way-for-unhappy-catholic-couples.jpg?204" /></P><p>When Pope Benedict XVI announced he was stepping down as pope a year ago &mdash; dropping the news almost casually, in Latin, at a meeting about an upcoming canonization &mdash; nobody was sure what to call it. No living pope had handed off the keys of St. Peter since Gregory XII in 1415. If Pope Benedict had only waited some 14 months to announce his retirement &mdash; or abdication, or vacation &mdash; we might have had an apt phrase at the ready: Conscious uncoupling.</p><p>Gwyneth Paltrow didn't make up the term to describe her separation from husband Chris Martin &mdash; conscious uncoupling as...</p> <a href="http://theweek.com/article/index/259030/how-pope-benedict-unwittingly-made-the-catholic-case-for-conscious-uncoupling">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Mon, 31 Mar 2014 11:16:00 -0400Why Christianity demands pacifismhttp://theweek.com/article/index/258993/why-christianity-demands-pacifismhttp://theweek.com/article/index/258993/why-christianity-demands-pacifism<img src="http://media.theweek.com/img/dir_0116/58490_article_main/w/240/h/300/the-emblem-of-christ-appearing-to-constantine-by-peter-paul-rubens.jpg?204" /></P><p>In a recent column, I discussed Nigel Biggar's important new book defending just war theory. Though admiring of the author's clarity and erudition, I found his arguments unpersuasive. Instead of encouraging policymakers and citizens to reflect more deeply on whether to go to war, just war thinking ends up providing additional moral and theological justification for militaristic actions the U.S. and Great Britain would be inclined to undertake anyway. I concluded that the book thus inadvertently demonstrates that "just war thinking, even at its very best, is an intellectual, moral, and theological...</p> <a href="http://theweek.com/article/index/258993/why-christianity-demands-pacifism">More</a>By <a href="/author/damon-linker" ><span class="byline">Damon Linker</span></a>Mon, 31 Mar 2014 06:06:00 -0400