Posts Tagged ‘politics’

black-churches-matter

Can We Get Real? Authentic Interfaith Truth-Telling & the Burning of Black Churches

“Why does it take a tragedy to bring us all together?” Rev. Terry McCray Hill of Bethel AME Church in Portland, Oregon asked this question the day after the Charleston massacre. We gathered, standing room only, into the hot, crowded sanctuary of Bethel AME and one by one, stood, naming our faith community to affirm […]

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Taken by the author at the 2009 Parliament of the World's Religions in Melbourne, Australia.

Choice and Safety: Required Ingredients for Interfaith Progress

Classic “contact theory” predicts that diverse societies automatically bring about tolerance. I argued against this idea here when I discussed how proximity generally exacerbates the anxiety of difference, and fails to disconfirm negative stereotypes when people see—but do not understand—their differences. If your goal is increasing tolerance and civic cooperation, it is not enough just […]

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taken by the author on December 5th, 2009 at the Parliament for the Word's Religions in Melbourne, Austalia.

Romantic Distance vs. Vexing Proximity: the difficulty of real up-close interfaith encounters

My research on interreligious dialogue and engagement has reinforced an old cliché: absence makes the heart grow fonder. When two people are distant from each other, it is easy to idealize each other. It is easy to recall them enshrouded in mists and to dream of an incandescent, ecstatic reunion. It is easy to gleefully […]

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Photo taken by the author Jenn Lindsay near Piazza di Popolo in Rome.

Pluralismo Vivo: The Interfaith Roads of Rome

It’s not easy to find clear examples of “interreligious violence” in Rome. The closest thing Rome suffers to religious violence are distant shrieks from ISIS across the Mediterranean Sea about “bringing Rome to her knees.” Overt religious conflict requires a more closely balanced religious demographic—and with Italy’s current Catholic-affiliating demographic topping out at 85% (not […]

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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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Israeli_and_Palestinian_Flags

Taboo Topics

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. I’ve been working in the field of interfaith dialogue for more than a decade. On good days it’s a lot of fun, and I […]

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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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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AZero-tolerance.jpg

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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Image from Wikimedia Commons. "Day 12 Occupy Wall Street September 28 2011 Shankbone 33" by David Shankbone - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Day_12_Occupy_Wall_Street_September_28_2011_Shankbone_33.JPG#mediaviewer/File:Day_12_Occupy_Wall_Street_September_28_2011_Shankbone_33.JPG

The Kaleidoscope of Activism (Part 1)

Google dictionary defines activism as “the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change.” But activism isn’t always vigorous and doesn’t always engage traditional campaign tactics. In fact, activism comes in many formats. According to Wikipedia, it consists of efforts to promote, impede, or direct social, political, economic, or […]

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Author: Sharon Azran/B’Tselem. Creative Commons license, from Wikimedia Commons. Source: http://www.btselem.org/photoblog/20140115_hebron

“There is no such thing as Palestine!”–Dispatch from Palestine

“You can’t teach me anything about Europeans,” once commented the deputy mayor of Jerusalem. Europeans had killed his father. “You can’t teach me anything about Palestinians.” Palestinians had killed his mother. The deputy mayor embodied a common sentiment among Zionists, many of whom had suffered dear losses to one or another enemy of the Jewish […]

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