Many researchers were startled by new reports that the Western trend toward secularism is also crossing the U.S., generation by generation. Dr. Jörg Stolz—professor of sociology of religion at the University of Lausanne and the current president of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion—reports on these findings and also raises questions for further study.
In Part 1 of a Global:Plus report on anti-Semitism, Rachel Kohn looks at a dangerous rise in this centuries-old hatred across Australia and New Zealand. She also looks at signs of hope and recommends further reading for journalists covering this trend.
In Part 2 of a Global:Plus report on anti-Semitism, Pedro Brieger looks at the rise in the Americas. He writes, “To combat anti-Semitism, we must both recognize its historical roots and the various contemporary political, social and religious factors that play a part in its revival. It is a challenge for all of us.”
This is a perilous period for religious freedom throughout the world. Most large countries officially proclaim religious freedom—but a growing body of research has found that the chasm between promise and practice is wide. In many cases, the promises of freedom are routinely denied. In this important Global Plus column, Roger Finke, director of the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA), and the IARJ’s co-founder journalist David Briggs collaborated to offer a compelling, global overview of threats to religious freedom, today.
All journalists regularly covering religion around the world find themselves reporting on Islam and, in 2019, we encounter extreme voices—fueled by a rising tide of nationalism in response to global conflicts, migration and the plight of refugees. IN THIS COLUMN, you’ll find helpful resources you can use today—and a series of fresh ideas about ways you, too, could contribute to the global conversation in a helpful way.
This latest Global Plus column comes from the journalist with the closest, ongoing access to Pope Francis: Sergio Rubin. This noted Argentine journalist collaborated on a book-length biography with Jorge Bergoglio, who now is known around the world as Francis. In this column, Rubin shares his insights into Francis’s attempts to revive and renew the worldwide church.
IARJ’s Co-Managing Director Larbi Megari—who was also named the IARJ’s representative for North Africa and Middle East in 2018—reports in the Global Plus series about building friendships across religious lines. He especially explores issues of building social trust and civility between Muslims and non-Muslims. And, at the end of his column, Larbi adds a list of links to additional resources that will be valuable for journalists reporting on these issues.
Reina Lewis examines changing styles and expectations about Muslim women’s fashions. Reina is Artscom Centenary Professor of Cultural Studies at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London. She is a leading researcher and writer on fashion and faith.
Lina Molokotos-Liederman, a researcher in sociology of religion in London, writes about the many connections between humor and religion. All of us feel better when we laugh. As a social and relational form of communication and a form of encounter, humor has the potential to help us connect with others in different social settings, foster human relations and build bridges across different and diverse communities. Thanks to our friends at the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) for allowing us to share this Global Plus column.
A Global Plus report on the use of cows as religious symbols by Hindu extremists to pursue their nationalist cause, sometimes with violence as a result. The report was written by Uday Basu, coordinating editor of The Statesman, a national daily newspaper published simultaneously in Kolkata, New Delhi, Siliguri and Bhubaneswar.