It is one of America’s enduring paradoxes to be simultaneously the most religious of the postindustrialized nations and the most enthralled with science and technology. For theology, these seemingly contradictory attitudes create challenges. Despite the religiosity of many Americans, overwhelming evidence suggests that much of the cultural and moral authority once reserved for the pulpit now resides with experts in the natural and...
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Peter James Causton lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts. This article is the first-place winner in Commonweal’s 2006 Theological Essay Contest. Funding has been provided by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.