The Role of Prayer and Religion in American Public Life: What “Prayer Shaming” Is All About

I’ve wDaily News front pageritten a short piece on “prayer shaming” and the controversy surrounding public “prayer” made by politicians after the San Bernardino shooting. You can find it on Huffington Post and I’ve also reposted the piece here:

Once again a mass shooting that left 14 dead and 21 wounded on Wednesday in San Bernardino, Calif. is sparking public outcry against gun violence in this country. Within hours of the shooting, the perennial debate over guns in American society began to circulate on news outlets and social media. This discourse varied widely, ranging from comparisons of gun control between the United States and other industrialized nations to an accounting of the number of mass shootings that have occurred in the U.S. in 2015.

Common to this discourse is the persistent public frustration over increasing gun violence and the lack of political action on gun control. This frustration was encapsulated and embodied on the front page of the New York Daily News rebuking politicians who offered “meaningless platitudes” in the form of prayer after the shooting. For the tabloid, “thoughts and prayers” aren’t enough and political inaction is equated with “God isn’t fixing it.” By day’s end on Wednesday, the Daily News cover became viral and was shared over 22,000 times on Twitter. For many Americans, the front page precisely expressed how they felt about gun control as well as the need for a national dialog on gun violence. Sharing the Daily News cover via social media became the public’s way of venting outrage and exasperation at this intractable issue. [….]

Book Review: Christianity in Contemporary China: Socio-cultural Perspectives edited by Francis Khek Gee

Review of Religion and Chinese SocietyI’ve written a review of Christianity in Contemporary China: Socio-cultural Perspectives (New York: Routledge, 2013. xiii + 265 pages. Hardcover. ISBN 978-0-415-52846-7) edited by Francis Khek Gee, professor of anthropology at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore for the journal Review of Religion and Chinese Society (宗教與社會, Volume 2, Issue 2). Christianity in Contemporary China represents one of the few currently available volumes examining the growth and development of Christianity in China via socio-cultural methodologies. Given the ascendancy of this religion in China, the study of Christianity in China will continue to draw scholars and researchers interested in the broad issue of religion in the region. This volume also provides new insight via social-cultural approaches to Christianity where existing studies of Christianity in China have been limited to historical methods. You can read the review of this edited volume by clicking on the link below.

Review of Christianity in Contemporary China: Socio-cultural Perspectives

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