Yesterday, CNN Belief Blog posted an article begging the question, “Is President Obama the Wrong Kind of Christian?” The article thoughtfully outlined the history of progressive Christianity, the social gospel, and the rise of fundamentalism and conservative politics. Being someone who studies American religiosity, I understand the importance that Christianity plays in American politics, but [...]
It was all I could do to keep from scratching my chigger bites incessantly as I sat in a white plastic lawn chair with about ten other people underneath a tent on a stiflingly hot, muggy day in the summer of 2004. It was the last day of a wonderful, if physically uncomfortable, weekend retreat at Pema Gochen Ling, a rural retreat center outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Seated in front of us were two men in their seventies, dressed in burgundy robes and chanting in Tibetan as we struggled to repeat after them. These were Khenchen Palden Sherab and Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal, brothers from Eastern Tibet who were now becoming my teachers, my lamas, my gurus.