Thursday's News & Ideas

  • Year 2 for Francis
  • The death of a church
  • 2014 Templeton Prize winner
  • The Story of the Jews
  • Pastor dies in confession
  • Lord of the Flies, at 60

In his second year, Pope faces expectations that change is comingThe New York Times: Year 2 is likely to prove more challenging for Pope Francis, if partly because of his own success.Washington Post: Pope Francis's first year underlines his commitment to the needy

Mourning the death of a churchChristianity Today: How a congregation found resurrection and hope at the end of its life.

Czech priest, philosopher Tomas Halik wins 2014 Templeton PrizeReligion News Service: Tomas Halik, a Roman Catholic priest and philosopher, won the 2014 Templeton Prize for religious and spiritual progress.

The Jews, a history in so many, many wordsThe New York Times: Simon Schama's "The Story of the Jews" is exemplary popular history.

Pastor dies during "confession"Connecticut Post: A congregation loudly confronted its longtime pastor about his alleged infidelity -- and in the midst of their yelling, the pastor dropped dead.

The Spark

"Lord of the Flies," still haunting at 60"Lord of the Flies" has inspired countless high school writing assignments, a dark tide of dystopian and apocalyptic fiction, and even a memorable episode of The Simpsons. At age 60, Big Think reports, the book is still a valuable literary and cultural reference point and, more surprisingly, an instructive manual about contemporary political life -- and its liabilities.

Want to get News & Ideas in your inbox every weekday?Subscribe to our News & Ideas newsletter.