Mark Silk

About Mark Silk

Mark Silk graduated from Harvard College in 1972 and earned his Ph.D. in medieval history from Harvard University in 1982. After teaching at Harvard in the Department of History and Literature for three years, he became editor of the Boston Review.

In 1987 he joined the staff of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where he worked variously as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist.

In 1996 he became the founding director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College and in 1998 founding editor of Religion in the News, a magazine published by the Center that examines how the news media handle religious subject matter. In 2005, he was named director of the Trinity College Program on Public Values, comprising both the Greenberg Center and a new Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture directed by Barry Kosmin. In 2007, he became Professor of Religion in Public Life at the College.

Professor Silk is the author of "Spiritual Politics: Religion and America Since World War II" and "Unsecular Media: Making News of Religion in America." He is co-editor of "Religion by Region," an eight-volume series on religion and public life in the United States, and co-author of "The American Establishment," "Making Capitalism Work," and "One Nation Divisible: How Regional Religious Differences Shape American Politics." He inaugurated "Spiritual Politics" in 2007.

Stories

Christian seders OK by me

Over at Religion Dispatches, Rebecca Cynamon-Murphy — a Christian woman married to a Jewish man — urges her co-religionists to forego the increasingly popular American Christian practice of hosting their own Passover seders. I say why not?

Voice of the Faithful is upbeat

Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) held its annual Assembly in Hartford on Saturday, and I can report that the mood of the liberal Catholic organization was pretty chipper. It was, pretty clearly, yet another manifestation of the Francis Effect.

The Judeo-Christian tradition v. climate change action?

In his famous 1967 Science magazine article, “The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis,” the medievalist Lynn White blamed “the Judeo-Christian dogma of creation” for instilling in Western society an ethic of exploitation of the natural world. As God says in Genesis 1, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion…” […]

Should there be mandatory reporting of sexual abuse?

The Vatican’s position at the moment is that its far-flung dioceses should obey the laws of whatever jurisdiction they happen to be in, and it’s hard to argue with that. But the problem with the “spare the victims’ feelings” line is that it can all too easily be used as an excuse to protect the perpetrators.

Cardinal Lustiger wows Hartford’s Jews

The hit of this year’s Hartford Jewish Film Festival was “The Jewish Cardinal,” a French TV biopic about Aaron Jean-Marie Lustiger, the Jewish convert who served as archbishop of Paris from 1981 until 2005. It was the opening night presentation last Thursday, and played to sold-out crowds in two theaters Saturday evening.