Social Issues

John_Howard_Yoder

In the Strangle of Abuse: The Ethical Dilemma of Hero and Crook

Over the past several years, a moral and ethical dilemma has come up: how do we respond to the writings and works of great public heroes who have made significant contributions to their field of study while also realizing that at times these individuals did not exactly live moral lives? I’m thinking specifically of one […]

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religious hands

Religious Literacy for a Fearful and Violent World

In February, I had the great pleasure of co-presenting a workshop at the DC Interfaith Leaders Summit with Amber Hacker, the Alumni Director for Interfaith Youth Core. In our workshop we encouraged attendees to cultivate a personal theology or ethic for interfaith cooperation, specifically with a focus on public interfaith engagement. Following the workshop, I […]

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Reflections on Holocaust Education and Highlighting Multifaceted History

This is the final reflection piece from the visit that a group of State of Formation Scholars made to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum this spring. Read the other pieces here, here and here. Dorie Goehring: What struck me the most about going to the USHMM was not the violent details of the Holocaust, […]

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By Sri Chinmoy.org (http://www.srichinmoy.org/interfaith) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

What Can Interfaith Dialogue Really Do? Part 3 of 3

Read Part I here, and Part II here. When I ate lunch with the rabbi he inveighed against interfaith dialogue and its inability to reach or transform the minds of those who are closed to dialogue. He said, “Interfaith activists say one thing and they do another—they preach transformation and tolerance, but they are already […]

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By Sri Chinmoy.org (http://www.srichinmoy.org/interfaith) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

What Can Interfaith Dialogue Really Do? Part 2 of 3

Read Part I here. At lunch after Purim, I heard the rabbi criticize interfaith projects for being “just another religious group.” I reflected on the irony of a religious clergy person dismissing the bonding function of the interfaith society. If indeed the interfaith society becomes a “religion” of its own, this is no reason to […]

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SoF Logo

Interfaith Dialogue and Identity Formation

Interfaith dialogue is of increasing importance on a daily basis in our current international social, political and economic order. This can be seen in the current interfaith groups that are gathering together in Baltimore as well as other places around the United States to protest police brutality as well as other social issues. Discussing how religious traditions relate to the social order in the pursuit of justice is just one of the many aspects of interfaith dialogue. As cultures and religions come into ever closer contact with each other, understanding the ways in which both one’s own religious identity and that of other people living in the same area inform and shape identity and aids in the creation of mutual understanding and fellowship between people of different backgrounds.

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By Sri Chinmoy.org (http://www.srichinmoy.org/interfaith) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

What Can Interfaith Dialogue Really Do? Part 1 of 3

After the most recent Purim morning service at my synagogue, I ate lunch with the rabbi. He told me he thinks interreligious dialogue is an in-group hobby, that interfaith groups become cliques. He felt these groups “preach to the choir,” and that people interested in dialogue are already liberal, educated, and concerned about religion. Interfaith, […]

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William Holman Hunt: The Scapegoat, 1854.

Reflections on Scapegoating

We are pleased to be sharing, over the coming weeks, a series of four reflection pieces on the State of Formation visit to the United Stated Holocaust Memorial Museum this spring. Each one is a collaborative piece from two of our Contributing Scholars. Lauren Seganos A few weeks ago there was an opinion piece in […]

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Grave_Rabbi_Meschullam_Kohn

Parashat Emor: On Reading Leviticus 21 and the Problematics of Embodied Leadership

This piece first appeared here. Parashat Emor (Leviticus 21-24), read this week in synagogues outside of Israel, opens with a passage describing limitations placed on individuals whom a Kohen (priest) may mourn or marry, as well as limiting sacrificial service in the Mishkan to those who are able-bodied. We learn in Leviticus 21:17 that any […]

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Jerusalem Sunset

The Self-Hating Jew/The Islamophobe

I haven’t written publicly about my life in Israel since I moved here. The truth is I’m scared to face the inevitable backlash that follows any time you write anything about this country. Many of my Jewish friends and family will call me a self-hating Jew (at the very least, often the names get much […]

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