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We’re in the middle of the forty days of Lent. For millions of Christians, this is a time to fast, pray, and give up alcohol, chocolate…or something equally important.

Lent used to apply only to Catholics, Greek Orthodox and a smattering of high-Church Protestants. But today, Lent is making a comeback, but it’s spreading and changing, and even some non-traditional believers are getting in to the act. Now that eating meat on Friday doesn’t necessarily mean a one-way ticket to hell, Catholics are reinventing Lent. Meanwhile, Protestants are adopting rituals they once rejected, like lining up for a cinder smear on Ash Wednesday.

Why, in is a society that practices excess more than restraint, where traditional religion is out and feel-good spirituality is in, is Lent suddenly in style? We’re excommunicating indulgence – and tuning into denial.
(Hosted by Judy Swallow)


Tom Groome, Professor of Catholic Theology at Boston College

Robin Jensen, Associate Professor of History of Christianity at Andover Newton Theological School.