Faith and religious figures played a pivotal role in the civil rights era of the 1960s. Do American religious communities and institutions carry a responsibility in the contemporary struggle for racial justice? Might faith even provide a new path for all Americans?

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If there is one constant in the era of change heralded by the ministry of Pope Francis it is the implacable opposition of the pope’s conservative foes. Hence the justifiable, and immensely useful, focus of Christopher Lamb’s aptly-titled new book, “The Outsider: Pope Francis and His Battle to Reform the Church.” Lamb is the Rome…

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