In 1999, as the Senate searched for dignity, fairness, and bipartisanship in its trial of President Clinton, we wondered about the role of religion at the Capitol. One way religion can be influential is through pastoral counseling, and Religion and Ethics has often covered the spiritual advisers to the president, but who counsels the Senate, now the president's jury? What influence do they have?
South Africa's retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his nonviolent opposition to apartheid. He remains a charismatic leader and South Africa's premier symbol of moral authority. Tutu later chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the official body that brought to light the atrocities of apartheid on both sides, hoping truth would heal bitterness.
Can gays become straight? For years, experts have said no, that homosexual orientation cannot be cured by therapy. But first quietly, now with national publicity, some Christians are saying yes, gays can change with religious counseling. The claims are controversial, the data elusive, but as Mary Alice Williams reports, the movement thrives. More
For Jews around the world, sundown on Sunday begins Rosh Hashanah, the start of the Jewish year 5759 and the first of 10 days of awe, a solemn time of prayer, reflection, and repentance. We celebrate these High Holy Days here with a special interview with the renowned scholar and teacher David Hartman in Jerusalem. Our correspondent is Herbert Kaplow.
Christian music, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, is now more popular than jazz or classical, and still growing in popularity. Yet Christian musicians are under vigilant scrutiny from their fans over what they write, where they perform, and how they live their lives. More
The Jewish holiday of Tisha b’Av is one of the saddest days of the Jewish year. On this day, Jews fast and grieve, sometimes sitting on the synagogue floor, remembering the destruction of ancient Israel’s first and second temples in Jerusalem and the 2,000 years of exile and suffering that followed. More
As we cover the abuse of relationships between pastoral counselors and those who came to them seeking guidance and comfort, we hear personal tales of the sexual relationship that can develop between some clergymen and women in their congregations. This is a complex world in which the male pastor is often found guilty of abusing his power and the woman is usually, but not always, the victim. More
At the Passover Seder table, Jews read from a guide called the Haggadah, which tells the story of the Jews' exodus from Egypt. Rabbi Judith Halevy of the Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue in California is our storyteller, updating the familiar tale with the story of Miriam, Moses' sister. LILITH magazine editor Susan Weidman Schneider invited us to her Seder to help tell the women's story.