My Father, the Madrasah, and Me

In Nigeria, Where Western Education Is King, an Arabic Studies Legacy Lives On

On a phone call the other day with a new friend, Zay, we ended up on the topic of religion. “Did you attend madrasah?” I asked her, referring to the Arabic schools that offer primary and secondary education where subjects like the linguistic characteristics of Arabic and Islamic theology and jurisprudence are taught.

She responded yes, but that she no longer remembers most of the things she was taught there. “I can still write my name in Arabic, I can still write Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem, and oh, yeah, I can still …

Did the Pandemic Rejuvenate Christianity? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Did the Pandemic Rejuvenate Christianity?

Away from the Headlines, Believers Across California Scrambled to Adapt—And Underwent Some Startling Changes

Judging by news coverage, the only religion trend originating in California during the pandemic was of conservative evangelical COVID denialism and defiance.

One California church, South Bay United Pentecostal in …

It’s a Cold War Christmas, Charlie Brown | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

It’s a Cold War Christmas, Charlie Brown

The Peanuts Christmas Special Tapped Into a National American Zeitgeist by ‘Placing Capitalism and Christianity in the Mouths of Babes’

Charlie Brown spends much of his first animated special in contemplation, depression, and frustration over the Christmas holiday. “Find the true meaning of Christmas. Win money, money, money,” he reads …

Can Bethel Church Make Redding, California, Heaven on Earth?

Maybe Not, but the 11,000-Member Community Gives Unsparingly to the City

Is this heaven, or Redding?

These days, the city of 91,000 at the north end of the Sacramento Valley, seems to sit halfway between the godly and the earthly—and not just …

The ‘Black Catholic Movement’ That Reinvigorated American Catholicism

In the Industrial North, African Americans Witnessed a Flourishing of Liturgical Innovation, New Preaching Styles, and Activist Scholarship

The story of how Roman Catholics “became American” is very well-known. Beginning in the 19th century, Catholics were a feared and despised immigrant population that Protestants imagined to be inimical …