Religion

A prominent Christian conservative says it’s time for Christians to withdraw from modern, secular American life.

Here is a proposition that may seem self-evident to many people: As societies become more modern, religion loses its grip. People separate their religion from their institutions and from parts of their lives.

Sociologists have a name for this idea. They call it the "secularization thesis." Now, research suggests the story is more complicated.

In 1822, Thomas Jefferson suggested an early version of it, predicting that Unitarianism "will, ere long, be the religion of the majority from north to south."

A classroom used as a prayer room at Liberty High School in Frisco got the attention of the Texas attorney general’s office this month. The office sent a letter raising constitutional concerns about the room. The Frisco superintendent called the letter a "publicity stunt" and said the prayer room has been in use for several years without complaints. 

Martin Scorsese's new film, Silence, is steeped in religious thought and questions. Set in Japan in the 17th century, it follows a pair of Portuguese Jesuit priests who sneak into the country to find their mentor, a priest who has reportedly given up the faith and apostatized. The Japan they find themselves in is pushing back violently against interference from outside influences.

AARON SCHRANK/TPR

There’s plenty of skeletal imagery around this week, but one bony figure showing up more in South Texas has little to do with Halloween or Dia de Los Muertos. She’s Santa Muerte, or ‘Saint Death,’ a Mexican folk saint condemned by the Catholic Church. Devotion to the skeleton saint is growing quickly—even in San Antonio. 

Ana Maya’s San Antonio home is filled with images of Santa Muerte, from posters and jewelry to the several dozen statues she uses for her spiritual work.

“People know me as Brujita Maya la Santa Muerte, and I pray and devote to Santa Muerte,” Maya says.

Pages