Evans Hall at the University of Oklahoma

Dialogue is difficult, but never dangerous. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for all of the ways we exercise our freedom of speech. In the two weeks since the SAE video was revealed, we have expressed fear, outrage, disbelief, chagrin, dismay, utter ignorance and, perhaps the most powerful sentiment, a lack of surprise. As an […]

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Current Articles

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Religious Freedom?

Last Monday, I spent the first part of my day at the Indiana State House. Hoosiers gathered both in support and in opposition to Senate Bill 101, also known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. SB 101 would allow businesses in Indiana to refuse service to certain customers based on religious beliefs. The specific language […]

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Courtesy: Women of Reform Judaism

Celebrating Women’s Interfaith History

March is women’s history month and usually that means a celebration of women from a national or cultural perspective. In the United States that implies celebrating American women of independence, courage and fortitude, whether they are white, black or Latina. More importantly, however, I believe that we must also celebrate women from an interfaith perspective, […]

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Musings on a Winter Night: Religious Tolerance and Inclusivism in Our Scriptures

Recently, I got some much-needed time off from seminary for the holiday break. Not only was I able to catch up on my rest and recharge my batteries during the downtime, but I was finally able to, at least for a moment, return to my own scholarly pursuits and read some books that didn’t have […]

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Mourning The Passage of Time Without Change by Sal Zierler

Against the power of a solar storm, against the aurora showing off what beauty can be, the warning blasted and blinded me. Israel and Palestine, singed from the heavens, never to be? Forty years ago I walked these lands. Two years of taking in the wonder and horror, of history, of one day in East […]

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Relationship, Integrity, and the Religious Other

As far back as I can remember, I have been curious about the beliefs of the religious Other. I can recall instances at age 7 or 8 in grocery stores asking men wearing the kippah what they believed happened to them when they died. Not out of morbidity, but a genuine sense of curiosity and wonder. I have no clear memory of their answers, ironically enough. Perhaps owing to the fact that these are challenging answers to articulate even in adult terms. But I remember their kind indulgence toward my questioning of them. It has always been my assumption that their generosity in answering my queries laid the foundation for the belief that it was safe to ask questions of the religious Other; that they would be happy to answer and not at all insulted by my lack of knowledge. In these moments I began a deep and trusting curiosity of other faiths.

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Gestures Matter

I wrote this while I was out of the country away from internet, away from television, away from radio, away from news of any kind—while I was somewhat ill-informed about what was currently happening in the world. The news of the murder of three Muslim students by an atheist managed to cross my radar when […]

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What Two Cultural Memes Teach Us About All Religion and Spirituality: Humility

This past week, two cultural memes got their time in the public spotlight. One of them was new and one was a generation old. I’m speaking about The Dress and the fictional planet named “Vulcan.” Both of these memes teach us something about real human spirituality, politics and relationship. Please let me explain. At the […]

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About State of Formation

State of Formation, founded as an offshoot of the Journal of Inter-Religious Studies (JIRS), is a program of CIRCLE, The Center for Interreligious and Communal Leadership Education at Hebrew College and Andover Newton Theological School.

Andover Newton Theological Seminary Hebrew College

Inter-Religious Studies