Posts by Hans Gustafson

“Chop Wood. Carry Water.” Holy Envy, Zen, and a Spirituality of Work

The Swedish theologian, Krister Stendahl, famously spoke of “Holy Envy” as that virtue of remaining open to aspects we find in religious traditions other than our own in order to admire them and incorporate into our own tradition. For quite some time, I have been envious of the Zen element of striving for and finding bliss […]

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Keith Ward on Interfaith Dialogue and Disagreement

Wm. Curtis Holtzen and Roberto Sirvent have done a great service for those searching for a succinct compilation of theologian-philosopher Keith Ward’s voluminous work. In By Faith and Reason: The Essential Keith Ward, we now have a text which displays the depth and breadth of Ward’s momentous thinking. The compilation is appropriately arranged into five parts, each of which offer relevant […]

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Pope Francis’ Ignatian Tradition and Interfaith Relations

In Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises, the heart of its sensual spirituality climaxes for the retreatant in the final contemplation of finding God in all things. Consider how God dwells in creatures; in the elements, giving them existence; in the plants, giving them life; in the animals, giving them sensation; in human beings, giving them intelligence […]

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Knowing the Religious Other

I am giving a talk this weekend (here) on employing sacramental mediation as a model for interfaith reconciliation, encounter, and learning. Interfaith encounter involves knowing the religious other. Drawing on Kierkegaard’s Concluding Unscientific Postscript to the Philosophical Fragments, penned under the pseudonym Johannes Climacus, I make the attempt to apply his well-known epistemological distinction between objective and subjective […]

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Do We Worship the Same God? Part II: Jewish and Muslim Voices

This is part two of a two-part review of Miroslav Volf’s new edited volume, Do We Worship the Same God?  Miroslav Volf has done a great service in bringing together a thoughtful group of renowned thinkers around the question of whether Jews, Christians, and Muslims worship the same God. Each essay offers a penetrating analysis from the […]

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Do We Worship the Same God? Part I: Christian Voices

This is part one of a two-part review of Miroslav Volf’s new edited volume, Do We Worship the Same God?  Miroslav Volf has done a great service in bringing together a thoughtful group of renowned thinkers around the question of whether Jews, Christians, and Muslims worship the same God. Each essay offers a penetrating analysis from the […]

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stepping stones

Review of Dermot Lane’s “Stepping Stones To Other Religions: A Christian Theology of Inter-Religious Dialogue”

In Stepping Stones to Other Religions, Dermot Lane offers an entry into interreligious engagement for Christians (particularly Roman Catholics) in the twenty-first century. It serves as a commendable introduction to the topic and makes the basic argument for why the Catholic faith mandates engaging other traditions in a respectful way while striving for mutual learning. The […]

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0420-0907-2017-1656_free_public_domain_image_boy_crying_as_his_dad_leaves_for_the_war_s

Are We Living In Hell? The Sandy Hook School Massacre and the Presence of God

If this is, as various Christians claim, a world in which the reign of the divine is both now and not yet, and the presence and purpose of God is somehow “realized” here and now, then ought we not also take just as seriously the absence of God?  Hell, if there is such a thing, is […]

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Reflections on Nicholas Black Elk: Constructive Convergence, Appropriation, Inculturation, Syncretism, and Multiple Religious Belonging

Nicholas Black Elk (1866-1950), the Oglala Lakota visionary and son of Crazy Horse’s cousin, has been the subject of both debate and inspiration. Inspiration comes from his alleged appropriation of his Lakota tradition via Catholicism, his commitment to religious dialogue, and courageous pursuit for religious truth. Debate continues to churn around both the sincerity and […]

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Mississippi & Minnesota Rivers at Pike Island

Encountering the Painful Past in the Present: A “Cloudy Water” Spirituality of Remembering the US-Dakota War of 1862

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Dakota-U.S. war which resulted in the execution of 38 Dakota men in Mankato (MN) on December 26,1862. It remains the largest mass hanging in U.S. history. It resulted in the interment of over 1600 Dakota (mostly women, children, and elderly men) at a concentration camp on Pike […]

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Hans Gustafson

Hans Gustafson currently serves as the assistant director of the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning at Saint John's University (Collegeville, MN) and the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN), where he also teaches in the theology department. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion and Theology from Claremont Graduate University. Follow him on Twitter @hansgustafson and his blog at hansgustafson.wordpress.com/


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