Friday's News & Ideas

  • Rowan Williams to step down
  • Religion in US foreign policy
  • Mission field heats up
  • The organization man
  • Cuban action
  • Magic and neuroscience

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to stand down BBC: The head of the Anglican Communion said serving as archbishop had been "an immense privilege."

Iranian leader's statement that nukes are sinful deserves a close look CNN Belief Blog: As politicians in Israel and the U. S. beat the drums for war on Iran, Stephen Prothero says it is worth remembering that Iran's supreme leader is on record against nuclear weapons.

The religious language in U.S. foreign policy NPR: Historian Andrew Preston's book "Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith," traces how religious language has been invoked to support U.S. foreign policy decisions throughout the country's history and up to the present day.

Denominations take different paths to missionary work USA Today: Southern Baptists and the Mormons are competitors for converts, says Richard Land, president of the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. "Methodists are not out knocking on doors. Mormons are."

Bring back the organization man Harvard Business Review, blog: The United States has developed a "plug 'n play" approach to the workforce, and it's not working that well.

Church spokesman: Cuban police remove dissidents from Roman Catholic church in Havana Associated Press: Cuban police evicted 13 dissidents from a church they had been occupying for two days demanding that Pope Benedict XVI air a list of grievances during his upcoming trip to the island.

The Spark

Teller reveals his secrets In the last half decade, magic has become shockingly respectable in the scientific world. The smaller, quieter half of the magician duo Penn & Teller recounts to Smithsonian Magazine how he asked a scientist friend about the sudden interest. The response: those who fund science research find magicians "sexier than lab rats." Teller's not surprised, since he argues that magicians have done controlled testing in human perception for thousands of years.

Want to get News & Ideas in your inbox every weekday? Subscribe to our News & Ideas newsletter.