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 [...]
During Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we cast our sins in to the desert, freeing ourselves from their oppressive burden, unshackling our hearts and minds so that we can begin the year anew. Six months later another new year arrives (Exodus 12:12). After a period of enslavement we find ourselves once again loosening our chains and opening our souls, ready to reencounter that which we cast away.
(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 [...]
Humor; humor is difficult. Religion; religion is difficult. They can both be reassuring, and discomfiting. They can affix labels, or they can liberate. They can be subversive, or they can uplift the dominant paradigm. Both can be thrilling and boring. They can be unifying, or alienating. Religion and humor both aspire to help us live [...]
After Auschwitz, no theology: From the chimneys of the Vatican, white smoke rises — a sign the cardinals have chosen themselves a Pope. From the crematoria of Auschwitz, black smoke rises — a sign the conclave of Gods hasn’t yet chosen the Chosen People.1 –Yehuda Amichai On Yom HaShoah, the Jewish day to mourn [...]
While the sums are larger and the stakes are higher in recent times, the fear that money corrupts those in power is an age-old issue. As far back as the Hebrew Bible those concerned with justice warned against the powerful and dangerous effects of money in politics.
About a month ago, just like every Sunday, I slipped into the worship space just before 10am, bowed before the altar, and found a seat in the back row. I leafed through the service bulletin to take a look at what songs we’d be singing that morning. And after a few brief announcements, [...]
“A woman is acquired [in marriage] in three ways…by money, by document, or by intercourse.” This is how the first mishnah in the tractate Kiddushin begins. In just this sentence alone we gain a window into how women were seen in the world of the rabbis. As each subsequent generation—from the Talmudic sages of 600 CE to 20th century feminist scholars—probe this Mishnah, the meaning of this statement is investigated, challenged, and, ultimately, transformed.
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 [...]
This article was first published at “The Bloviating Ignoramus,” a blog for politics and culture. I understand the Church of England’s stance against the ordination of women as an example of blatant gender oppression by a male-dominant Church that participates in the perpetuation of inequality. The Church of England’s recent decision to not ordain women to the bishopric is [...]