Posts Tagged ‘Questions’

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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Photo taken by the author at the 2009 Parliament of the World's Religions.

What Is the Unity of “Unity in Diversity”?

Notwithstanding the prizing of diversity, there IS some unified bottom line to interfaith dialogue. Nonviolent behavior is the basis for “unity in diversity.” Behavior is a category about which all parties participating in a dialogue must actually be on the same page. A behavioral covenant of nonviolence is necessary to contain and maintain an interfaith engagement, […]

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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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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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Tree_of_Death_by_michaelJdavanzo

“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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Holy Week of Resistance, Used with permission

Can the Cross Be an ‘Inclusive’ Symbol of Violence?

In a recent post on his facebook page, Rev. Cornel West of Union Theological Seminary invited all people of conscience to join in a National Day of Mass Direct Action against racist state violence. The event is part of Union’s Holy Week of Resistance which seeks to #ReclaimHolyWeek (a week celebrating the death and return-to-life of […]

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SoF Logo

Relationship, Integrity, and the Religious Other

As far back as I can remember, I have been curious about the beliefs of the religious Other. I can recall instances at age 7 or 8 in grocery stores asking men wearing the kippah what they believed happened to them when they died. Not out of morbidity, but a genuine sense of curiosity and wonder. I have no clear memory of their answers, ironically enough. Perhaps owing to the fact that these are challenging answers to articulate even in adult terms. But I remember their kind indulgence toward my questioning of them. It has always been my assumption that their generosity in answering my queries laid the foundation for the belief that it was safe to ask questions of the religious Other; that they would be happy to answer and not at all insulted by my lack of knowledge. In these moments I began a deep and trusting curiosity of other faiths.

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http://oniicha.deviantart.com/art/Stephen-Fry-292734698

The Paradox of Knowing

This was my thought: “Is God sad over us – for our selfishness, our disconnection, our paving a path to the extinction of life on a planetary scale – which includes ourselves?” So I reached out in my limited ways to those whose culture, religion, education, and experience were quite different from my own, asking […]

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The author Jenn Lindsay at the Vatican for an audience with Pope Francis with the Pontifical Institute for the Study of Arabic and Islam.

An Audience with Pope Francis—Dispatch from Rome

We were on our way to meet Pope Francis. We—the participants in the 50th anniversary meeting of the Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies—departed together from the Urbaniana campus and rode an escalator cut inside the Janiculum Hill that dumped us out in front of the colonnades of Saint Peter’s. I walked with two […]

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