With the world more globalized and fields more interconnected than ever before, there is room for a détente between religion and academia. However, in my experience that has not been the case. In the two countries where I have interacted with and been a part of the academy, it is sometimes very clear that most academics, at least in the social sciences and humanities, tend to view religion with suspicion.
While the questions set before religious judges are often rather inward-facing, the nature of such questions, which can determine the fate of someone’s immortal soul, can have major impacts on the political and economic life of believers outside the walls of the Church.
As we continue in the struggle for economic justice, it is important to examine how white Christian evangelism shapes our efforts to alleviate poverty. Casting poverty as a form of moral failing encourages people to disengage from the social, cultural, and structural causes of poverty and ignores the role that white Americans play in the global proliferation of poverty conditions worldwide.
As the generation that built the system that promoted peace in Europe fades away, we find ourselves struggling to maintain those institutions. This is in large part because we forget too easily that their original and true purpose was not the sacrifice of national identity at the altar of economic integration. The purpose was peace.
The emphasis on the purity of women and an obsession with controlling sexual urges that creates ideas like the Billy Graham Rule are apparent in The Handmaid’s Tale, where the agency of the Handmaids has been stripped from them and their sanctioned sexual encounters are limited ritualized sessions in order to produce children.
Today, philanthropy and inequality exist in a feedback loop of sorts in the United States. Philanthropic organizations such as the United Way and the Red Cross transform donations, or labor, into research or humanitarian activities intended to benefit humankind in general, but not to alleviate individual hardships.