A new issue of Freethought Today is out. An interview with Alain de Botton, author of Religion for Atheists. Getting Real: A new breed of skeptics is boldly challenging pseudoscience, blind faith, and all manner of “woo-woo”. What explains foxhole theism? Helen De Cruz investigates. From Religions, a special issue on spiritual exemplars. From Vice, Liz Armstrong writes in defense of cults. Chuck Smith says the End Times means a bright outlook for the Christian church. From SSRC, what is religious freedom supposed to free? Webb Keane wonders. For schools of theology, it's time to bend tradition: Amid financial troubles and declining enrollments, the largest challenge may be cultural — seminaries have to adapt to a changing world. The majority of mainline Protestant churches require pastors to obtain a master of divinity (MDiv) degree, but some argue that a person whom God has endowed with exceptional gifts of ministry can be effective without going to seminary — so why require it, especially in these lean times? What we wear to church: Why what we put on may be more important than we think. A review of Christians Get Depressed Too by David P. Murray.

Paul Jewell (Flinders) and Jennie Louise (Adelaide): It’s Just a Joke: Defining and Defending (Musical) Parody. From Arts and Social Sciences Journal, Jennifer L. Lemanski (UTPA): Western Media Meets Eastern Tradition: Examining the Views of Chinese-American Women on Beauty. The introduction to Cells to Civilizations: The Principles of Change That Shape Life by Enrico Coen. Are democracies still sovereign?: A roundtable with Seyla Benhabib, Craig Calhoun, Fuat Keyman, David Rasmussen, and Joseph LaPalombara. Getting better: A review of A History of Violence by Robert Muchembled and The Better Angels of our Nature by Steven Pinker. We are all Luddites: Why, after two centuries of endless denunciation, does their very name still convey such subversive resonance? From nonsite.org, a special issue on agency and experience. A review essay on the work of Samir Amin. From Common Ground, Geoff Olson on ending the war on everything: It’s time to declare peace on people, places and the planet. Poseidon’s revenge: The rogue wave is not an ordinary wave — but it’s becoming more common.

From Breakthrough, Dan Sarewitz on liberalism’s modest proposals. Eric Rauchway reviews books on liberalism. From Anarchist Studies, Chris Dixon on building “another politics”: The contemporary anti-authoritarian current in the U.S. and Canada. From Guernica, Rebecca Solnit and David Graeber on anarchism as a problem-solving tool, the return of debtors’ prisons, and why communism is ingrained in capitalism. A review of The Crisis and the Left: Socialist Register 2012. From The Point, a symposium on What if the Left For?, including Michael Berube on Libya and the Left; Peter Bratsis on the Two Lefts; an interview with Bill Ayers; and more on Michael Kazin’s American Dreamers. The American left, liberalism, and equality: An interview with Eli Zaretsky, author of Why America Needs a Left. From The American Spectator, Paul Kengor on The Nation's Top 50 Progressives — and socialists and communists: Did Katrina vanden Heuvel think no one would notice her magazine's affinity with friends of Joseph Stalin?; and we're all Leninists now: Everyone's an intellectual, changing the world and transforming our lives.