Are We Genetically Inclined to Be Materialistic?

Are We Genetically Inclined to Be Materialistic? — New research suggests certain cultures place a brake on what social scientists call “the endowment effect,” whereas capitalistic societies put it on steroids.  This 5 min. audio clip might be used to explore a biblical anthropology, the nature of community, or other themes related to human nature.

Science as Bits and Pieces

Natural Sciences

Science as Bits and Pieces — Philip Kitcher doubts the Grand Theory claims for science.  His essay argues that science is not metaphysics but pragmatics and that the case for a seamless science is highly overrated, particularly by those who would like science to supplant religion.  See Can Science Explain Everything? for a follow-up discussion.

Celibacy as Political Resistance

All Current Features

Celibacy as Political Resistance — This essay by Grant Kaplan at St. Louis University discusses a two kingdoms view for Christian peculiarity, papal primacy, and clergy celibacy advanced in the 19th century.  Agree or disagree, this account prompts reflection on the church’s strategies for in-reach and outreach. (Spiritual descendants of Stephan and Walther may find […]

Celebrating Christmas Then and Now

All New Briefs

Celebrating Christmas, Then and Now — Nine-in-ten Americans say they celebrate Christmas, and three-quarters say they believe in the virgin birth of Jesus. But only about half see Christmas mostly as a religious holiday, while one-third view it as more of a cultural holiday.

An Atheist Photographer Focuses on Faith

All Current Features

An Atheist Photographer Focuses on Faith — “Is it the building itself that gives the space a sacred quality, or is holiness derived from the devotions of worshipers, present and past, who have occupied the space?”  So asks a thoughtful atheist about worship space.  Six photos and a brief, respectful discussion.

Polygamy Law Weakened

All New Briefs

Polygamy Law Weakened — A federal judge has struck down parts of Utah’s anti-polygamy law as unconstitutional in a case brought by a polygamous star of a reality television series. Months after the Supreme Court bolstered rights of same-sex couples, the Utah case could open a new frontier in the nation’s recognition of once-prohibited relationships.

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