Religion

Religion
4:43 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Statue Of A Homeless Jesus Startles A Wealthy Community

The Rev. David Buck sits next to the Jesus the Homeless statue that was installed in front of his church, St. Alban's Episcopal, in Davidson, N.C.
John Burnett NPR

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 8:40 am

A new religious statue in the town of Davidson, N.C., is unlike anything you might see in church.

The statue depicts Jesus as a vagrant sleeping on a park bench. St. Alban's Episcopal Church installed the homeless Jesus statue on its property in the middle of an upscale neighborhood filled with well-kept townhomes.

Jesus is huddled under a blanket with his face and hands obscured; only the crucifixion wounds on his uncovered feet give him away.

The reaction was immediate. Some loved it; some didn't.

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Politics & Government
8:47 am
Fri March 21, 2014

'It Will Look Profoundly Different When My Father Dies' - Nate Phelps, Son, Westboro Church Founder

Nate Phelps, son of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps
Credit Nate Phelps

The pastor of the much-reviled Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps, has died at age 84. Phelps' message became synonymous with hatred. The pastor and his family made it a point to carry signs at funerals saying, “Thank God for Dead Soldiers.” They showed up to events with signs that read, “God Hates Fags.”

Nate Phelps is the sixth of Fred’s 13 children. He describes his father as verbally and physically abusive. When he was 18, Nate ran away from home and from religion.

In recent years Nate found himself publicly squaring off with his father and siblings to reverse their legacy of intolerance. He lives in Calgary, Canada, where he has become a public speaker who champions LGBT rights and raises awareness about the connection between extreme religion and child abuse. He is currently writing a book about his life and is the subject of an upcoming documentary. He spoke with Dick Gordon in 2012. The story, "Son of a Bigot," was featured on Salon.com.

Listen to Nate Phelps' conversation with Dick Gordon from 2012:

Here are some highlights of the conversation:

What was your childhood like?

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The State of Things
12:13 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Photographing Father Divine

Kristin Bedford

Kirstin Bedford talks about her new photography exhibit, 'The Presence of Father Divine'

Photographer Kristin Bedford spent five weeks living with the followers of Father Divine and learning about their religion. She photographed their lives. Her exhibit, The Presence of Father Divine, has been postponed.

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The State of Things
11:23 am
Wed February 26, 2014

"Apostles of Reason" Finds Historical Explanations For Political Polarity

Apostles of Reason by Molly Worthen
Credit http://global.oup.com/ / Oxford University Press

A conversation with professor and author Molly Worthern

    

Evangelical Christians are a diverse group with similar questions but vastly different answers. 

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The State Of Things
12:50 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Does God Want You To Be Rich?

Blessed
Credit Oxford Press

  

In the world of prosperity theology, abundant wealth and good health are signs of God’s favor. Leaders of the many of the megachurches that preach the prosperity gospel enjoy lavish lifestyles and a new reality show documents their experiences. Host Frank Stasio talks with Kate Bowlers, assistant professor of the History of Christianity in the United States and the author of Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel (Oxford, 2013).

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The State of Things
11:43 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Doris Duke's Shangri La Comes To Durham

The Nasher Museum brings Doris Duke's Islamic art collection in Hawaii to North Carolina.
Credit Doris Duke Foundation

Experts discuss Doris Duke’s 'Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape, and Islamic Art'

Doris Duke, heiress to the American Tobacco Company fortune, built a sprawling estate in Hawaii in the 1930s. She named her secluded getaway Shangri La and she spent the rest of her life filling it with Islamic art. After her death, Shangri La was opened to the public.

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Health
2:27 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Study Finds Clergy Are More Depressed Than National Average

Duke released a new study that looks at the high depression rate in clergy members.
Credit public domain

A new study from Duke shows that clergy have a higher rate of anxiety and depression than the national average. The study, conducted by the Clergy Health Initiative at Duke Divinity School, surveyed all United Methodist Clergy in North Carolina and found that their depression rate was 8.7 percent, which is higher than the national average of 5.5 percent. Anxiety rates were 13.5 percent.

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The State of Things
11:06 am
Tue August 27, 2013

The Duke Professor Who Secretly Wrote Romance Novels

Credit http://www.katharineashe.com / http://www.katharineashe.com

Duke Professor Katherine Dubois talks with Frank Stasio about writing romance novels.

In Katharine Ashe's latest book, "I Married the Duke," the heroine Arabella takes passage on a ship through the English Channel and meets a rough and tumble sailor who is not what he seems. 

Secret identities and characters in disguise are some of Katharine Ashe's favorite tropes.  Perhaps because the writer herself is not what she seems.

Ashe has received acclaim and popular success as a romance novelist.  But she leads a second life as Katharine Brophy Dubois, a visiting assistant professor in the History Department and Religion Department at Duke University.

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Health
4:30 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Divine Intervention: Helping Clergy Help Themselves

Pastor Charles Lindquist on his StreetStrider.
Credit Duke Clergy Health Initiative

Like their good friends the Baptists, the Methodists love a good covered dish event. Any church gathering can serve as a reason to bring out the cakes, cookies and casseroles, and in rural North Carolina, that puts church leaders, like Pastor Charles Lindquist, in an awkward position.

“People used to say, ‘get up there in the front of the line’ and you had this feeling of 90 pairs of eyes staring at you to see whose food you were going to take,” says Reverend Lindquist. “So you tried to take some of everything.”

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The State of Things
10:41 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Businessman Finds Spiritual Roots Of Capitalism

Cover of "Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks" by August Turak.
Credit Columbia Business School Publishing

Bussinessman and author Augie Turak talks about his new book, 'Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks: One CEO’s Quest for Meaning and Authenticity'

Augie Turak is a successful businessman with two software companies under his belt. For the past 17 years, he’s studied the business strategies of a group of Trappist Monks living in South Carolina.

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