(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 [...]
Conversations in the cafeteria are where much of the real theological work gets done at my seminary, where students hash out their thoughts on what was discussed in the class just ended or the readings for the class soon to begin. Throw in some pop culture references, season with puns, and you’ve got a party. [...]
Does Religion Cause War ? If so, How ? The sociologist David Martin, in his book Does Christianity Cause War? (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997), investigates the empirical evidence from “Europe as a whole” for Richard Dawkin’s assertion that “religion causes wars by generating certainty” (5,22). He concludes that Religious certainty does not cause war, but a religion’s [...]
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 [...]
The 16th Street Baptist Church sits in the middle of downtown Birmingham, Alabama. During the heart of the Civil Rights movement, when Birmingham was known across the nation as “Bombingham,” marchers and protesters would assemble at the 16th Street Baptist Church, then walk across the street to Kelly Ingram Park, where they demonstrated against segregated [...]
No one knows what to say in moments like this. But we utter many things about God. Do we really mean these things? The divine love is not complicit in their deaths. The divine love does not call the victims out of their lives. The divine love does not withhold protection.
The tragic events of last week occurred while Jews were reading a section of the story of Joseph and his brothers which is bursting with bereavement. As I read it through the lens of midrash, this ancient story not only echoes our pain, but may also offer us some hope and guidance. The part of [...]
If this is, as various Christians claim, a world in which the reign of the divine is both now and not yet, and the presence and purpose of God is somehow “realized” here and now, then ought we not also take just as seriously the absence of God? Hell, if there is such a thing, is [...]
By witnessing and transforming the most troubling parts of our religions we will transform ourselves and, in doing so, our relationship to those of other faiths. This work must begin with each of us allowing ourselves to be aware of what troubles us about our faith, but this work cannot be fully done alone, or even just with those within our own community. Each of us uniquely mirrors aspects of Gd and those of us from different faith traditions have different lenses through which Gd is experienced. If a goal is for more of Gd to show up within these conversations, then we need one another.
Shabbat is not only the way we as Jews sustain ourselves, it is how anyone dissatisfied with the world as it is visions and creates the world as they imagine it should be. In the fallout from the tragic Sikh Temple shooting, our attention has been drawn to the culture and practices of the neo-Nazi skinhead groups that the shooter belonged to.I may not be able to change the orientation of these hate groups or affect their vision of paradise. But I can use their vision and mission as a means to examine my own idea of the world to come.