Religion and Public Life With Mark Silk

So why has Mississipi Governor Haley Barbour, Establishment Republican Supremo, decided to drop out of the GOP presidential sweepstakes? Here’s Dan Baltz’s explanation: His decision not to enter the contest, he said in a statement, grew out of his conclusion that he lacked the necessary fire in the belly. But friends of Barbour, speaking on…

Should it be a shonda fur di goyim–something to be ashamed of before the gentiles–that according to the 2010 Census the poorest community in America (over 10,000 pop.) is a village in New York State composed almost entirely of Jews? Well, yes. But not because American Jews, the wealthiest religious body in the U.S., have…

David Brooks, the Last Puritan Columnist, loved “The Book of Mormon,” but then had guilty second thoughts about its message that religions have weird doctrines but can do “enormous good as long as people take religious teaching metaphorically and not literally; as long as people understand that all religions ultimately preach love and service underneath…

According to Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Spokane, Wash., when they come together in Seattle in June for their semi-annual meeting, the U.S. Catholic bishops will be looking into whether there was “some sort of the breakdown of the system” that led to the D.A.’s investigation of more than two dozen priests in the archdiocese…

There’s some snickering taking place on the left about Indiana governor Mitch Daniels receiving the Arab-American Institute’s 2011 Najeeb Halaby Award for Public Service at AAI’s May 4 gala. Daniels, it turns out, is half Syrian, his paternal grandparents having immigrated from near Homs early in the last century.They were Christians–he’s Presbyterian–but no doubt (heh,…

As the first seder approaches, I call your attention to several items of interest: 1. The Great Quinoa Kashrut L’Pesach controversy. Wherein it is shown that the only sure way to be sure that this strange New World grain passes muster is for a rabbi to set up shop in the Bolivian highlands. 2. The…

Douglas Kmiec did not earn his ambassadorship the old-fashioned  way–with bucks. The coin of his realm is verbal, and the talking and writing the former dean of the Catholic University Law School (and head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in the Reagan Administration) did on behalf of Barack Obama in 2008 was…

Amidst all the hand-wringing about the state of the Republican presidential field, one potential candidate seems to be sailing blithely along–undeclared, familiar, discounted, and atop the polls. It’s Mike Huckabee, of course. Here’s how January looks for him. He’s well ahead in Iowa, where he won the caucuses in 2008. He’s comfortably in the group…

To read Bill Donohue’s latest defense of the virtue of the Catholic powers-that-be–published as a full-page ad in yesterday’s New York Times–is to be struck by the degree to which he and his episcopal buddies refuse even to discuss the issue that lies at the core of the sex abuse scandal over the past decade.…

That abortion, in the form of defunding Planned Parenthood and prohibiting public funding in D.C., emerged as the final hurdle for the 11th-hour budget deal is an object lesson, but what’s the lesson? To Steve Prothero, it’s that that the old culture war agenda is what the Tea Party really cares about. To David Weigel,…

Mark Silk
about

Mark Silk

Mark Silk graduated from Harvard College in 1972 and earned his Ph.D. in medieval history from Harvard University in 1982. After teaching at Harvard in the Department of History and Literature for three years, he became editor of the Boston Review. In 1987 he joined the staff of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where he worked variously as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist. In 1996 he became the founding director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College and in 1998 founding editor of Religion in the News, a magazine published by the Center that examines how the news media handle religious subject matter. In 2005, he was named director of the Trinity College Program on Public Values, comprising both the Greenberg Center and a new Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture directed by Barry Kosmin. In 2007, he became Professor of Religion in Public Life at the College. Professor Silk is the author of Spiritual Politics: Religion and America Since World War II and Unsecular Media: Making News of Religion in America. He is co-editor of Religion by Region, an eight-volume series on religion and public life in the United States, and co-author of The American Establishment, Making Capitalism Work, and One Nation Divisible: How Regional Religious Differences Shape American Politics. In 2007 he inaugurated Spiritual Politics, a blog on religion and American political culture.

read full bio
More from Beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad