01: The June issue of Center Conversations, an occasional newsletter of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, focuses on religion, culture and international conflict after Sept. 11.
The issue introduces the subject with an essay — originally a talk — by Samuel Huntington, the Harvard professor who has become famous for his thesis on the “clash of civilizations,” which views the cultures and religions of the East and West as driving international conflicts. Huntington stands by his position, applying it to the events surrounding Sept. 11, but also makes it clear that it is not Islamic teachings themselves that are the problem.
Rather, the absence of pluralism and historic resentment, as well as divisions within Islam, are driving terrorism and anti-Western attitudes.
Information on this issue is available at: Ethics & Public Policy Center, 1015 15th St., NW, #900, Washington, DC 20005; http://www.eppc.org
02: We noted that the Templeton Foundation Press published a book on Unity Christianity last month in the cover story on foundations funding religion, but neglected to mention the book’s author and title.
The Unity Movement ($29.95) by Neal Vahle provides an in-depth history of this metaphysical, “New Thought” quasi-Christian movement. Vahle reveals that Unity Christianity is fairly diverse and divided: There is the Unity School of Christianity, which focuses on “non-denominational” prayer and healing, and publishing literature on Unity teachings.
And then there is the Association of Unity Churches, a group with no connection to Unity School, representing over 1,000 Unity congregations. There are also two varieties of Unity teachings allowed in the movement (one stressing the “12 powers” that humans are endowed with). Vahle also provides a short but interesting chapter suggesting that Unity has had more influence on the New Age than vice versa.