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The Pope, Protestantism, and Reformation

The recent visit of Pope Francis to the Cathedral of Lund was an historic occasion. The Holy Father joined the Lutheran World Federation’s president, Bishop Munib Younan, and the General Secretary, Rev. Martin Junge, as part of a joint commemoration that celebrated the Reformation. Both in Junge’s homily and the statement signed by Pope Francis and Bishop Younan, there were calls to push forward in the dialogue with the goal of a common Eucharistic table, even if both sides recognized the ongoing obstacles to attaining it. While the choice of Lund was related to its being the place where the Lutheran World Federation began in 1947, the celebration set in relief just how deep the ecumenical challenges are. Continue Reading »

The Religious Crowds

In the 2002 Brazilian film City of God (Cidade de Deus), the narrator, Rocket, provides the audience with a kind of social taxonomy of the eponymous favela during a street party. There was the “samba crowd,” the “soul crowd,” the gangs and the “religious crowd.” (Comunidade do crença, . . . . Continue Reading »

World Christianity by the Numbers

The annual “Status of Global Christianity” survey published by the International Bulletin of Missionary Research is a cornucopia of numbers: Some are encouraging; others are discouraging; many of them are important for grasping the nature of this particular moment in Christian history. Continue Reading »

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