Religion and Public Life With Mark Silk

Pastor Dan tweets: “Interesting. Obama engages just-war thought in re: Libya, where Augustine, the originator of the tradition, lived and died (in a war).” Well, pretty close. Augustine was Bishop of Hippo, now called Annaba, in Algeria near the Tunisian border, and there he died in 430 during the Vandals’ siege. While the just war…

Honor obliges that I note that last Friday, the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops finally did acknowledge the eruption of scandal in Philadelphia, in the form of a statement from its Administrative Committee, conveyed over the signature of its president, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan. As Grant Gallicho points out over at dotCommonweal, the…

So goes the GOP? Yesterday’s story by the AP’s Mike Glover takes us to the Hawkeye State, where, it seems, social conservatives are the force to be reckoned with. As someone whose brief career as a national political reporter took place during the 1988 cycle, I find it hard to imagine the Republican Party in…

Whether the attack on Libya proves to be a successful exercise in humanitarian war-making a la Bosnia or another incursion into Middle Eastern quicksand, it raises an interesting question for the theology of jihad. Unlike our wars to overthrow regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, and in contrast to the largely peaceful protests taking place in…

Over at ReligionDispatches, Sarah Posner uses the list of anti-DOMA members in the House of Representatives to show (again, correctly) why it’s a mistake to see Tea Partiers as economic rather than social conservatives. I’d just add that there’s a longstanding reason why the Tea Party has become the movement of the moment for social…

According to the latest WaPo/ABC poll, Mike Huckabee is the top choice for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. Mitt Romney is a close second. The Post‘s lede this morning is that Sarah Palin’s numbers among Republicans are heading south, which is a good story. But I’ve yet to see Beltway political scribes giving Huck serious…

Compared to what’s happening at the Fukushima Daiichi complex it may not amount to much, but the meltdown of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is still pretty toxic. Yesterday was the first court appearance of three priests and a schoolteacher charged with raping boys in the 1990s. Plus big fish Monsignor William Lynn, the secretary for…

Some of you may recall that a week ago, the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue took umbrage at my daring to suggest that the canon law doctrine of Scandal be jettisoned. It wasn’t that he disagreed with what I had to say about the doctrine but that it was the likes of me who said it.…

Pew’s latest survey of views on Islam and violence demonstrates again the degree to which white evangelicals stand apart from the other large religious groupings in American society. The question is whether or not you think the “Islamic religion is more likely than others to encourage violence.” The overall numbers haven’t changed much since 2003,…

Demagogue’s intellectual that he is, Newt Gingrich has a way of putting his finger on a problem that creates a problem for himself. To wit, here’s what he had to say to David Brody the other day about threats to our civilization: In a sense, our Judeo-Christian civilization is under attack from two fronts. On…

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