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Witch Ways

In 1768, John Wesley expressed concern about the decline of popular belief in witchcraft and the supernatural: “The English in general, and indeed most of the men of learning in Europe, have given up all accounts of witches and apparitions as mere old wives’ fables. I am sorry for it. . . . They . . . . Continue Reading »

Confession in America

Confession:  Catholics, Repentance, and Forgiveness in America by patrick w. carey oxford, 392 pages, $34.95 In the 2013 Joseph Gordon-­Levitt romantic comedy Don Jon, the porn-obsessed title character hits the confessional, reels off his ­usual list of sins against chastity, and then . . . . Continue Reading »

Secular Pilgrims in America

Atheists have long been a vocal minority in America, their relations with the dominant Protestant culture defined by consistent, unresolved antagonism, unexpected ideological affinities and interdependencies, and the back-and-forth movement of individuals between atheism and belief. Continue Reading »

Freemasons in America

That Religion in Which All Men Agree: Freemasonry in American Culturedavid g. hackett, 336 pages, berkeley, $49.95 While many readers will know about traditional Catholic opposition to Freemasonry, many may be surprised to discover how Freemasonry engendered significant Protestant opposition as . . . . Continue Reading »

Sons of Nones

On a recent train ride, I sat next to a young German woman living in the United States. She was raised by atheists, but had a deep religious longing. She was baptized and tried Christianity. Her experience of Christianity in Germany left her wanting something deeper, and through a friend, became a . . . . Continue Reading »

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