Challenges

unfinished_acceptance_by_midnight_doodler-d6xnfgg

Always in a State of Formation

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. – Luke 6:37 The first noble truth in Buddhism is that all temporary things and states are unsatisfying. They are the source of dukha or suffering. The Noble Truths have their genesis in the […]

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By unidentified [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

How Do We Tolerate the Intolerant?

What do tolerant people do with the intolerant? We tolerate them. We ignore them. We insult them. We try to change them:        By explaining.        By demonstrating.        By oppressing. We rationalize their existence: People disinterested in interfaith dialogue are ignorant, uncultured, or disengaged. ISIS is not really Islamic […]

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Technology and the Creation of the Docile Physician

Discipline is no longer simply an art of distributing bodies, of extracting time from them and accumulating it, but of composing forces in order to obtain an efficient machine. – Foucault, Discipline and Punish   This past Friday, I sat in a room of twenty physicians arranged in rows, each with a TV-sized computer monitor […]

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Ethics in the Shadow of Gethsemane

Every year at Harvard Divinity School, there is an annual competition for 2nd and 3rd year MDiv students called the Billings Preaching Competition. Being raised Catholic, preaching was never really a thing for me to think about, since women cannot be ordained to the priesthood yet, and never really entered my mind. However, I decided […]

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“I see the smiling faces, I know I must have left some traces”: A Reflection On Death, God, And Friends

Death is a topic that a lot of us avoid like the plague. It’s not something people are willing to talk about or engage with on a theoretical level, let alone directly when someone you know dies. I get it–death is really weird. Absolutely no one knows what happens after you die, because it isn’t […]

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South Carolina, #BlackLivesMatter, and the Bible

I was born and raised in South Carolina. I love my home state; there are so many genuine, kind, wonderful people there who I care about deeply. But to be honest, most of the time when I see South Carolina trending on the news, it’s about something embarrassing. Like that guy who kept having sex with […]

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Loyola High School v. Quebec and the Implications of “Neutral” Pedagogy

On Thursday March 19, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada released it’s ruling on the six year pending case of Loyola High School v. Quebec. Loyola High School, a private Catholic school, sought an exemption for the teaching of the mandatory religious education program called the Ethics and Religious Culture Program (ERC), introduced as a compulsory […]

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Disability and God Talk

An earlier version of this piece was published here. I am passionate about creating truly inclusive and accessible Jewish communities in which all Jews can find a spiritual home, and in which we can all bring our full selves to bear on the life of our community. I want to create communities in which the […]

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Religion Whiplash

Sometimes, I worry that going to seminary has killed the Christian in me. Take, for example, the experience of Holy Week. As a child, I remember most Easter weeks as a rush of excitement. After all, on Palm Sunday you got to wave branches around at church and then, just a week later, came Easter […]

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Michael Elam, MDiv and DeShannon Barnes-Bowens

The Power of Being Seen

I remember the scene in my head like it was yesterday. I walked up to a stranger, looked her in the eye and said, “I am here to be seen.” Her response was, “And I see you.” Then I proceeded to approach several other people in the room – one at a time, repeating the […]

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