Religious authority and social media: old wine in new bags?

The Protestant Church in the Netherlands recently added a ‘social media guide for ministers and pastoral workers’ to its professional code. The guide encourages the use of social media like Facebook and Twitter as a communication channel, acknowledging its potential to reach new audiences. But it also highlights certain risks - in particular, the difficulty …

Faith of Obama shifts “good Christians are right-wing” frame

CNN has an excellent piece on the faith of Barack Obama. The author, John Blake, argues that Obama is a religious pioneer that challenges the dominant frame where a good Christian is equated with a right-wing conservative. According to Blake, Obama brings back the social gospel tradition which was dominant at the start of the …

Transnational faith based development and the post secular experiment

In her blog-post on the Religion Factor, Cecelia Lynch discusses FBOs in the context of the neoliberal competition on the ‘market’ of international development. In my work on and with development FBOs in the Netherlands I see this illustrated. Changes in government funding for development organizations, has created a highly competitive market in which religious …

God Bless America: US Civil Religion and the President as Prophet, Priest and Martyr of the Nation

Ever noticed how nearly every time a US president makes a speech, it ends with “God Bless America”? Ever wondered why? Contrary to popular assumption, it’s not just because the United States is one of the most religious countries on earth, although this certainly plays a part. Several researchers have highlighted that the United States …