Rethinking Religion

Interfaith

The Tao of Torah

More than a decade ago I was invited to join a monthly Torah study group in the San Francisco Bay Area that met at the homes of the group members. All of the members were currently or had once been …
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Judaism

Jacob, Joseph, and His Brothers: A Story of Child Abuse?

Almost no one wants to talk about the abuse of children, so it is understandable that almost no one wants to address Jacob’s abuse of Joseph–yet the text itself supports this reading.
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Judaism

Responses to the Pew Report on American Jewry

Are Jews in existential free-fall? According to the latest Pew Research Center report, 22 percent of Jews have abandoned Judaism and only 15 percent identify Judaism as essential to being Jewish. Rabbi Michael Lerner shares some stirring responses and invites others to join the discussion as well.
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Spiritual Politics

Sikh Ethics and Political Engagement

Built into Sikh tradition is a firm ethic of adhering to a truthful and just process—the idea that the ends do not justify the means. As a result, simply stating that attacks upon Sikhs in a post-9/11 context are “mistaken” or “misdirected” because they should be directed toward another group, Muslims, is an untenable deflection. Instead, American Sikhs walk a thin rhetorical line between declaring what we are—a group that aims to elevate the consciousness of all people to appreciate our common divinity—and declaring what we are not in order to avoid the short-term consequences of popular confusion.
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US Politics

Taking Back the Bible

Same-sex relationships. Abortion. Contraception. All three are under attack by religious conservatives who say biblical teachings are on their side. The Bible says little, if anything, about the politically charged issues…and what it does say runs counter to their right-wing assumptions.
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Rethinking Religion

Fierceness and Reverence: Building the Religious Counterculture

As religious people, we face our lives head on, knowing that our time is short here. And so we live with a little fire and intensity, fierceness and reverence.
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Judaism

Celebrating the World Reborn

Figuring large in the mystical understanding of Rosh Hashanah is a daring kabbalistic concept—the nesira, the removal of the investment of inner presence in all the worlds on Rosh Hashanah night, to be returned renewed with all the illuminations and energy for the coming year at the time of the shofar blowing the next morning.
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Judaism

Rethinking Prophecy

What defines a prophet? Is it a moral compulsion to speak the truth, no matter the consequences? A look back across history uncovers misguided prophets, prophets of evil, and some true prophetic personalities.
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Christianity

An Evangelical Perspective on Immigration

Inspired by Scripture and struggling to serve immigrant worshippers, the evangelical community is calling for reforms to keep families together and establish a path toward citizenship for people without papers.
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Christianity

A Religion of Compassion: A Letter to Pope Francis

The Catholic Church has become “irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid,” to use the words of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. In his letter to the new pope, Matthew Fox argues that religion needs to return to its roots—as compassionate, loving, spiritual, and accepting of all people—to regain its relevance.
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Spiritual Politics

Love the Stranger: Looking to the Torah for Guidance on Immigration Policy

We are all capable of prejudice and must remain vigilant to observe and change it within ourselves. Perhaps that’s why the most repeated commandment in the Torah is to love the stranger.
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Immigration

Creating Sanctuary: Faith-Based Activism for Migrant Justice

When would-be migrants die in the desert, it’s not just an ethical issue, it’s also a religious crisis. Arizona groups have put their faith into action for decades, defying federal law and offering humanitarian aid.
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Books

A Psychoanalytic Guide to Kabbalah

Psychoanalysis and Kabbalah have a lot in common, not the least their ability to profoundly alter our mind-states and influence our actions. In his modern Guide for the Perplexed, renowned psychologist Michael Eigen breaks down the connections between psychoanalysis and Kabbalah, and how they might be used together for our benefit.
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Spiritual Politics

Old Roots, New Branches: Jewish Spiritual Communities and the Rise of Alt-Labor

In both the independent Jewish communities and the alt-labor groups, newcomers are more comfortable with the languages of faith and justice than their predecessors.
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Rethinking Religion

Toward a New Buddhist Story

Is a new Buddhist story beginning to develop out of the interaction between Buddhism and the modern world? Both need such a new story.
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