The New York Times has an interesting op-ed article by Kenneth Jackson concerning religious freedoms, and their limitations (especially with regard to Quakers) in the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam in the mid-17th century. It speaks of an old document called the Flushing Remonstrance, which called for the toleration of all regardless of religious leanings, including even the Quakers. Check it out here.
I just read Foreskin's Lament: A Memoir by Shalom Auslander. It reads like a satirical autobiographical rant against his ultra orthodox upbringing, and his biting wit makes for equally very painful and very hilarious reading. I could hardly put it down. I have been reading parts of it aloud to anyone who wants to know why am laughing so hard. I especially recommend it to all the devout, formerly devout, and those caught in between! I am definitely going to check out his other book of short stories, Beware of God. It is definitely a nice break from my usual fare of dry boring academic prose.
I have a Ph.D. in Religion from Columbia University. I am currently a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Religion at Illinois Wesleyan University. My research focuses on the New Testament and emergent Christians in their ancient Jewish and Greco-Roman environments.