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The U.S. Is Retreating from Religion - Scientific American Blog Network
By 2030, say projections, a third of Americans will have no religious preference

religion  usa  culture 
10 hours ago by geetarista
My Smartphone Died, and I Didn’t Miss It. Well, Maybe a Little.
Important point about how our global infrastructure expects us to have smartphones. Harder to live without them than it was before they came around, because we don’t have the same analog tools.
tech  iphone  how_we_live  culture  travel  focus  maps 
11 hours ago by alexpriest
Public Theology in Retreat - Los Angeles Review of Books
This is the setting of public theology today, in which Hart has made a name for himself and flourished in just a decade and a half’s time. As I said, it demonstrates as well as complicates Jacobs’s account. The latter, because Hart has indeed won a kind of public recognition, and I don’t know that anyone would claim he has qualified his language in order to do so. But such details only demonstrate the force of Jacobs’s claim, one with which Hart readily agrees. There does not exist a literate elite public for theology. A few notable names may lend an ear from time to time. But mostly they will ignore it as so much nonsense, misunderstanding even and perhaps especially when trying sincerely to comprehend. The best a theologian can do in the meantime is the modest work of cultural interpretation, theological clarification, historical remembrance, moral critique, and moderate political prescription — all without expectation of being heard, much less answered. It is little more than lighting a way through the dark, keeping faith with those who came before and those who will follow. But it is something. Indeed, in the time between the times, which is the only time that Christians know, it is good work. And if the response is silence, so be it.
religion  culture 
18 hours ago by cjmcnamara
[Criticism] | The Watchmen, by Alan Jacobs | Harper's Magazine
In light of the history I have been narrating here, the career of Marilynne Robinson looks like a case of opportunities taken, but also opportunities missed. It is true that, especially in her fiction, she offers to a (largely secular) audience a picture of what the world looks like when it is irradiated by faith or the possibility of faith; but it is never a faith that calls upon her readers to act differently, socially or politically or morally, than they would normally be inclined to act. In her essays, she often speaks explicitly as a Christian, but there tends to be a strange mismatch between her subject and her audience. Take “Fear,” an essay from 2015 in which she writes that “contemporary America is full of fear” — a fear manifested largely through a kind of cult of firearm ownership — and “fear is not a Christian habit of mind.” If Robinson wants to persuade her fellow American Christians to reject the culture of guns and overcome their fear, The New York Review of Books is an odd place to do it. My point is not that Robinson’s argument is wrong but that it offers a highly critical interpretation of people who are not reading it, and leaves the core assumptions of its audience unchallenged.
religion  culture 
18 hours ago by cjmcnamara

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