01: Three recent issues of Center Conversations (No. 5, 7 and 8), a newsletter of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, serve as good introductions to recent trends in Catholic, evangelical, and Jewish communities.
Each issue features a main address on developments in each tradition followed by a roundtable discussion by journalists and scholars. Originally a series of seminars for journalists covering the religion beat, the freewheeling discussions focus on some generally undercovered issues, including: the problem of viewing American Catholicism through a “liberal versus conservative” lens; the almost universal use of therapeutic jargon and concepts in evangelicalism; and the growing polarization in the Jewish community, even over the issue of vouchers.
A set of the three issues is available for $7 from: Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1015 Fifteenth St., NW, #900, Washington, DC 20005. The web site is: http://www.eppc.org.
02: Religion on the International News Agenda, edited by Mark Silk, is another publication designed for religion journalists but is recommended to anyone trying to grasp the international religious situation.
The 142-page book brings together eight specialists (from a conference at the Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College in Hartford) on issues of religion and society in India, China, Eastern Europe and the fomer Soviet Union, Iran, Indonesia, Africa and Latin America. Particularly valuable is the summary sections after each chapter that highlights emerging trends and issues that readers should keep an eye on.
The book is available from: Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life, Trinity College, 300 Summit St., Hartford, CT 06106; http://www.trincoll.edu/depts/csrpl
03: Starting with this issue, the subscription rate to the print version of Religion Watch will be $28 per year ($30 outside the U.S. and Canada).
The electronic version will cost $20. The increase is due partly to the raise in postal rates (at least for the print version), but we are also offering readers more this year. Last summer convinced the editor that RW should come out monthly rather than skipping a month in August. The break in summer was partly due to a corresponding vacation that many publications took, considerably cutting the number of available articles to monitor and digest. No longer.
The Internet has multiplied our sources on news and trends. RW has functioned as much as a service as a publication, and such a service of monitoring trends in religion should be offered at least monthly.
We are also committed to giving subscribers access to at least 10 years of back issues in our archives, with the articles all searchable by subject. That task is taking longer than we thought, but the increase will help us reach that goal in the next few months. In other news, we happy to report that RW was nominated a semi-finalist in the “General Excellence for Newsletters” category by Utne Reader magazine.
If readers of the print version wish to switch over to the electronic version, please send your name and e-mail address to: firstname.lastname@example.org.