Erasmus Economist Blog


Notes on the interplay between religion and policy, in the spirit of the Dutch Renaissance humanist and scholar

Ideological rifts widen as Catholic bishops ponder endangered forests and married priests
Posted: October 4, 2019, 7:17 pm
Islam’s followers are not so much firebrands as nomads in search of a home
Posted: September 22, 2019, 9:00 pm
Conflicts within Slavic Orthodoxy are having some strange side effects
Posted: September 9, 2019, 4:05 pm
Why Islamic debates over slavery matter to everyone
Posted: August 27, 2019, 7:04 pm
Despite the abolition of outdated laws, a culture of freedom is failing to take hold
Posted: August 25, 2019, 7:50 am
A cherished tradition of independence can lead to abuses and poor management
Posted: August 16, 2019, 6:43 pm
The extraordinary events of 1989 are half-forgotten as clerics look elsewhere
Posted: August 11, 2019, 12:49 pm
It offers a fixed point in a transitory world
Posted: August 3, 2019, 4:40 pm
From the Roman to the Abrahamic, the prime minister’s spiritual history is a mess
Posted: July 27, 2019, 1:45 pm
Building bridges between an anti-racist movement and a conservative faith
Posted: July 24, 2019, 11:07 am
President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus accompanied his Russian counterpart to the magnificent monastery of Valaam this week
Posted: July 21, 2019, 1:37 am
A new sensitivity over discrimination in the secular world is making it harder for religious institutions to apply a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy
Posted: July 14, 2019, 3:30 pm
State secularism and personal freedom clash over the hijab and the burkini
Posted: July 10, 2019, 3:38 pm
A twitter-spat over Donald Trump’s immigration policy reveals a deep cleavage in America’s religious right
Posted: July 5, 2019, 3:26 pm
Why the government’s effort to create a more devout society has failed
Posted: July 1, 2019, 6:18 pm
A controversial proposal for the Amazon basin would set a precedent for the Catholic church
Posted: June 18, 2019, 6:12 pm
Squabbles between churches in Ukraine, Russia and Turkey are bound up in global politics
Posted: June 15, 2019, 4:24 pm
The home of the Enlightenment sees dark portents
Posted: June 11, 2019, 3:36 pm
Why Pope Francis likes the French view of temptation
Posted: June 8, 2019, 3:39 pm
A document urging clemency provides a snapshot of global Sunni Islam. It is revealing to see who did and did not sign
Posted: June 2, 2019, 6:40 pm
The Russian Orthodox church claims credit for preserving the country’s nuclear arsenal. It is extending its reach ever farther
Posted: May 29, 2019, 10:26 am
Fundamentalist faith is proclaimed, and contested, in America’s forces
Posted: May 25, 2019, 8:30 pm
A British judgment on preaching to colleagues and clients
Posted: May 19, 2019, 12:56 pm
Devout women in the Teutonic world have had enough
Posted: May 13, 2019, 5:25 pm
When life at the margins goes mainstream
Posted: May 10, 2019, 11:31 am
When a fast becomes a slow diplomatic dance
Posted: May 6, 2019, 8:31 am
Members of a religious commission find common cause in relation to Russia and China
Posted: April 30, 2019, 9:31 am
Amid the ebullience of Orthodox festivities, disputes among Eastern churches ease just a little
Posted: April 28, 2019, 2:16 pm
The Religious Society of Friends wrestles with theism
Posted: April 26, 2019, 6:18 am
Traditionalists take issue with Francis’s relatively liberal style, while finding merit in his predecessor’s conservatism
Posted: April 22, 2019, 2:57 pm
Ancient churches are the greatest glory of Europe’s cities, and a headache for those trying to look after them
Posted: April 16, 2019, 2:06 pm
A jarring blast from the past
Posted: April 12, 2019, 8:32 am
A historically broad church is stretched to the limit
Posted: April 9, 2019, 10:09 am
In both Ireland and Cyprus, the relationship between an armed rebel movement and a Christian church remains contentious
Posted: April 7, 2019, 12:10 pm
Stopping violence should not mean repressing belief
Posted: April 5, 2019, 1:53 pm
But in a secular age, Christian groups find common cause.
Posted: March 30, 2019, 11:31 am
Bad news for a Canadian conservative and an Ulster liberal
Posted: March 25, 2019, 2:22 pm
For many Muslims, the far right isn’t the main problem
Posted: March 22, 2019, 3:25 pm
Many groups, Jedi fans among them, have sought religious classification in Britain
Posted: March 20, 2019, 9:25 am
Where peace comes dropping slow
Posted: March 15, 2019, 10:02 am
The prayerfulness of small new states
Posted: March 11, 2019, 3:11 pm
When conservative Islam meets secular thinking on equality
Posted: March 6, 2019, 5:02 pm
The verdict casts doubt on the church’s ability to cleanse itself
Posted: February 26, 2019, 3:17 pm
Many faiths can make light work
Posted: February 25, 2019, 8:01 am
Social media are a source of danger
Posted: February 19, 2019, 9:08 am
The decision comes ahead of a Vatican summit on sexual abuse this week
Posted: February 17, 2019, 4:44 pm
A judge makes life easier for churches and faith schools
Posted: February 15, 2019, 11:37 am
Creationism retains a broad appeal
Posted: February 12, 2019, 12:02 pm
Even though they profess indifference to them
Posted: February 9, 2019, 9:47 am
Irish and American clergy are at odds on the matter
Posted: February 5, 2019, 3:33 pm
In Britain, words like extremism and Islamophobia are furiously contested
Posted: February 1, 2019, 1:26 pm
After years on death row, a Christian woman accused of blasphemy is vindicated once more
Posted: January 29, 2019, 12:45 pm
Behind the scenes, Francis gives heart to the protesters
Posted: January 25, 2019, 11:26 am
In the southern Balkans, ethnic and ideological conflict has a sectarian edge
Posted: January 22, 2019, 2:39 pm
It has emerged in different forms in both Russia and China
Posted: January 17, 2019, 11:21 am
The departure of American forces from Syria worries some ancient faiths
Posted: January 13, 2019, 8:39 am
A tolerant society that also includes the religious right
Posted: January 9, 2019, 2:30 pm
A religious split echoes geopolitical tensions
Posted: January 7, 2019, 1:59 pm
A religious ascetic who relished the human body
Posted: December 28, 2018, 11:12 am
A delightful documentary considers the link between American Jews and songs for the winter holidays
Posted: December 25, 2018, 5:05 pm
A ruling on Greece has wider European implications
Posted: December 20, 2018, 11:17 am
In Kiev and Moscow, church loyalties are a matter of state
Posted: December 18, 2018, 3:58 pm
It is one thing to draw up a list, another to punish an offender
Posted: December 14, 2018, 2:00 am
On opposite ends of the migration debate
Posted: December 12, 2018, 11:26 am
But faith groups could do more with their money
Posted: December 7, 2018, 1:41 pm
The Episcopal church, with its grandeur and nostalgia, was a natural spiritual dwelling-place
Posted: December 4, 2018, 2:39 pm
But some believe that church matters are starting to resemble earthly power struggles too closely
Posted: November 30, 2018, 8:05 pm
In Britain and Belgium, religion and animal rights go head to head
Posted: November 26, 2018, 11:04 am
A concept born in the cold war comes home to roost
Posted: November 20, 2018, 2:49 am
Archbishop Ieronymos is struggling to sell a deal to his bishops
Posted: November 16, 2018, 4:17 pm
It has other failings. Here, at least, it is sincere
Posted: November 15, 2018, 6:13 am
But now it emphasises reconciliation, peace and the human sinfulness that lead to war
Posted: November 9, 2018, 2:25 pm
The leader of the faith objects to appellations that omit the name of Jesus Christ
Posted: November 6, 2018, 12:48 pm
In the West, it is considered less important
Posted: October 31, 2018, 12:28 pm
On free speech and liberty of belief, Europe pulls in different directions
Posted: October 29, 2018, 2:58 pm
On both sides of the Atlantic, the Salafist form of Islam exists in all its complexity
Posted: October 24, 2018, 2:56 pm
Disagreements about a 17th-century letter could prefigure a split in the Eastern church
Posted: October 19, 2018, 12:43 pm
In America, Germany and elsewhere, churches and other places of worship are testing their standing against the state
Posted: October 17, 2018, 12:11 pm
Decisions taken in Istanbul could have serious ramifications for religious and geopolitical relations in eastern Europe
Posted: October 12, 2018, 12:07 pm
The couple had the right to refuse a customer’s request for a cake declaring support for gay marriage
Posted: October 10, 2018, 11:11 am
The English and Americans offer pragmatism, the French zeal
Posted: October 6, 2018, 11:48 am
A rambunctious prelate, sometimes ceremonial, never pompous
Posted: October 2, 2018, 11:50 am
A happy breed of nativists who like their religion cool and English
Posted: September 28, 2018, 1:14 pm
But traditionalists fear that principles have been sold out
Posted: September 25, 2018, 2:56 pm
The small Middle Eastern community is losing its young to secularism
Posted: September 21, 2018, 10:56 am
The row could increase support for Ukraine's embattled president
Posted: September 17, 2018, 7:51 am
A group of Muslim scholars offer a view from the Islamic tradition
Posted: September 14, 2018, 12:18 pm
Faith can mould politicians even if they reject it
Posted: September 8, 2018, 1:14 pm
A meeting between the Patriarchs of Moscow and Constantinople seems to bode well for the country’s aim of autocephaly
Posted: September 2, 2018, 4:09 pm
Jonathan Sacks accuses him of using the language of classic, pre-war European anti-Semitism
Posted: August 29, 2018, 1:05 pm
Where does the country stand on the spectrum from Catholic to post-Catholic?
Posted: August 26, 2018, 3:20 pm
A court recognises an Islamic union, but insists it is not setting a precedent
Posted: August 17, 2018, 7:37 pm
Rod Dreher favours introversion inspired by a spirit of repentance
Posted: August 16, 2018, 11:20 am
Attempts to recreate the nature-loving worship of old are gaining popularity even if they are based on guesses
Posted: August 10, 2018, 9:36 am
Boris Johnson is accused of wooing the Islamophobes
Posted: August 8, 2018, 11:04 am
A rainmaker who cajoled the religious and made them greener
Posted: August 5, 2018, 9:35 am
A cardinal loses his rank for the first time in nine decades
Posted: July 31, 2018, 4:00 pm
A gathering in Washington, DC this week carried a message of hope
Posted: July 27, 2018, 3:06 pm
Religions gather strength as they cross the ocean
Posted: July 25, 2018, 5:00 pm
A dialogue of the deaf over faith and schooling
Posted: July 20, 2018, 9:10 am