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A Religious Revival?

CHRIST AND NEIGHBOR

By John C. Cort | July-August 1987

Life in the U.S.A. gives off mixed signals. T.V. religion has taken a pratfall, and is that good or bad for religion in general? I lean toward good, because I believe most T.V. religion (there are exceptions) has been a travesty of the real thing.

Our politics, our economics, our media entertainment have for some time been illustrations of the Seven Deadly Sins, singly and in combination. Our beloved Catholic Church is racked with rancorous dissent and rebellion, especially here in the U.S., where the clumsy treatment of Archbishop Hunthausen and the more defensible action against Fr. Charles Curran set off choruses of moaning and groaning.

In the midst of this somber scene I attended a lecture at Harvard by the Baptist theologian Harvey Cox. He has been teaching a course for undergraduates entitled, “Jesus and the Moral Life,” and the course is so popular that it has been held in Sanders Theatre, the largest auditorium in the university. It is the largest, most popular course at Harvard, which has never been exactly famous for its interest in religion in general or Jesus in particular.

A large part of this popularity must be credited to Cox, who is an excellent lecturer. But he himself is quick to note that there is more to it than that. He believes that it is evidence of a genuine upswing of interest in Christianity among students.

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