Friday's News & Ideas

  • Social media, ministry or marketing?
  • Environment a religious imperative
  • Don't discount act of kindness
  • Bishops' staffer banned
  • Church under fire for hosting Muslims
  • What is peace?

Pope follows himself in Twitter echo chamberReligion Dispatches: Elizabeth Drescher asks if Pope's Twitter feed and other new media efforts by well-known religious leaders may be more marketing than ministry.Canadian Christianity: Why churches need to embrace technology

Orthodox leader deepens progressive stance on environmentThe New York Times: Deeply committed to environmental activism, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I preaches that caring for the environment is a religious imperative.Spiegel: 'Humanity is still on the way to destroying itself'

Officer's gift to 'homeless' man triggers controversyThe Daily Beast: The cynics are crowing after Jeffrey Hillman turned out to be neither homeless nor shoeless, but we shouldn't be so quick to discount a simple act of kindness.

Former bishops' staffer banned over women deaconsNational Catholic Reporter: Former U.S. Catholic bishops' conference staffer banned from speaking publicly in the Philadelphia archdiocese because he co-authored a book investigating the possibility of ordaining women as deacons.

Episcopalians under fire for hosting Muslim conventionReligion News Service: Leaders of a progressive Episcopal church are defending themselves against charges of sympathy for terrorists in their decision to host the annual Muslim Public Affairs Council convention.

The Spark

What is peace?Let's just say that suddenly you are a social scientist and you want to study peace. That is, you want to understand what makes for a peaceful society. As Margaret Paxon writes at Aeon magazine, it's harder to study peace than you might think. Forget ideals of milk and honey. Peace is found in the grit of everyday life.

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