Posts Tagged ‘Questions’

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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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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AJewish_Settlement_Police.jpg. Source: Yair Malachi, circa 1942

The Beginning of a Settlement — Dispatch from Palestine

Mahmoud’s family lives one Palestinian hill over from a newly-forming illegal Jewish settlement. Six Jewish settlers arrived about a year ago with tents and made a primitive campsite. All year they prayed on the hill in religious pilgrimage. All settlements start this way. The original owner has a claim on this land and papers originating […]

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Moving Past the First Date: Three Contributing Scholars Reflect on Honesty, Offense, and Interbelief Dialogue

Earlier this month, three State of Formation Contributing Scholars were invited to attend and present at the North American Interfaith Network annual conference. Responding to the conference’s opening plenary lecture, Ellie Anders, Wendy Webber, and Esther Boyd collaborated on this piece in an attempt to bring some of the conference’s discussion of honest communication and […]

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Taken by Jenn Lindsay in Rome on July 17, 2014.

The Roman Jewish Vigil for Israel

In the Piazza della Rotunda of the Pantheon, at the heart of Rome, there was a rally in support of Israel held by the historic Roman Jewish community. Traces of trauma from World War II are here, scattered throughout the cobblestone streets in gold plaques marking former homes of Jews murdered over the tortuous last years […]

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Living A Dual Religious Identity

Managing Editor’s note: all Contributing Scholars begin writing by answering the following question as their first post: Why are you committed to building relationships with those from different religious or ethical traditions? Their answer to this question is below. I’m used to being the only Jew in the room. I normally take it with a […]

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Why Are There So Many Secret Atheists?

Recently I attended a meeting for atheists and agnostics. The primary purpose of the group, as I understand it, is to function as a community of support. To start the meeting everyone was asked to introduce themselves by relating their religious history. Having just recently written about my how my religious history is unusual for […]

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True dialogue doesn’t allow you to give up your distinct beliefs

I have to admit that sometimes I get weary of those Christians who, upon learning I am actively involved in different forms of interfaith dialogue, judge me as not being Christian enough.  The assumption goes that if you can “get along” and dialogue with those who believe and practice other religious faiths, you must have […]

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Happy Humanist

Defining Religion: An Ongoing Discovery

Being a secular humanist working in an interfaith capacity – particularly with curious college students – means that I get asked many questions about how humanism relates to religion. The other night, a student asked if we could dedicate one week’s dialogue to “hearing more about Esther’s religion”, and another student quickly chimed in with, […]

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