Christian Scientists think of angels as bright ideas. Angels are moments of clarity and expanded consciousness, moments of fresh vision and creativity, broadened perspective, and infusions of loving inspiration. Christian Scientists, who think of God as pure Mind, a divine principle of loving consciousness, see the intellect as a portal of revelation. I come from [...]
(This is Part 2 of a 3-part series. See Part 1 here.) AUTHORITY There is another hot issue in a discussion about religion and the Bible: the question of who has authority over the telling of a narrative? How about The Bible miniseries on The History Channel? It’s a very confident little piece, isn’t [...]
On a recent, overcast Thursday evening, I co-led a presentation in San Marcos, Texas, about creating a local, interfaith environmental network. I didn’t know what to expect; in retrospect, I guess I didn’t expect much. San Marcos is a small town compared to the other cities in which I’ve offered this presentation. I wondered whether [...]
I attended the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia. I was amazed by the preponderance of sacred fashion statements (the hats!), the number of New Age practitioners from the North American West Coast, and the ubiquity of the phrase “interfaith dialogue.” As former chair of the Union Theological Seminary Interfaith Caucus, a [...]
I recently received an email from the fine editorial staff at State of Formation informing me that I am officially a lapsed contributor and my posting account might be deleted. This is very true. I have lapsed in my public reflections about all things religious. When I ask myself why I lapsed, my answers are [...]
The tragic events of last week occurred while Jews were reading a section of the story of Joseph and his brothers which is bursting with bereavement. As I read it through the lens of midrash, this ancient story not only echoes our pain, but may also offer us some hope and guidance. The part of [...]
The disturbing recent news about the bloody protests in the Arab world incited by a video defaming the Prophet Muhammad remind me of a story associated with Rosh Hashanah, which begins on Sunday at sundown. When Rosh Hashanah begins, the Jewish calendar will enter the year 5773. According to the tradition, exactly 5773 years ago, [...]
How do we spiritually prepare for the High Holidays during the busiest time of the year?
As part of the interfaith environmental work I am blessed to be able to do, I visit with people in congregations around the state about caring for the environment. In these conversations, I am almost always asked some variation of this question: “Where do we find hope?” Anyone working on environmental issues today must wrestle with this question of hope and purpose–and if people are unable to find a meaningful answer, they won’t be able to stay engaged for very long. Without some kind of deep wellspring, the struggle of facing the world’s troubles is too frequently, too much.