Rethinking Religion

Religion and Culture

Exploring the Crack in Liberalism in Israel/Palestine: Reading Atalia Omer’s When Peace is Not Enough After Bernie Sanders

Progressive American Jews are very much in favor of these peace movements. And yet many of these movements, committed to liberal ideologies, become victims to liberalism’s Achilles heel.
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American Post-Judaism with Shaul Magid

Judaism Unbound (http://www.judaismunbound.com) is a project of the Institute for the Next Jewish Future, a project that catalyzes and supports grassroots efforts by “disaffected but hopeful” American Jews to re-imagine and re-design Jewish life in America for the 21st Century. In the third of a four-part series discussing the Jewish future in America, Shaul Magid discusses his 2013 book American Post-Judaism and explores various challenges that face Jews and Judaism in America in the next generation. Focusing on the idea that America is moving into a post-ethnic phase whereby ethnicity no longer defines collectives the way it once did, Magid talks about various new forms of Jewish spiritual practice, syncretism and hybridity with other religions, the role of the non-Jew in the Jewish community, the developing role of the Holocaust and Israel in American Jewish life, the cresting of Habad’s influence, the normalization of intermarriage, the contributions ex-haredi Jews can make to American Judaism, and two models he calls “survivialism” and “spiritual humanism” that have emerged as competing paradigms in the 21st century.
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Rethinking Religion

Love for the Prophet Muhammad: A Key to Countering Islamism and Islamophobia

Neither Islamophobic westerners nor militant Islamists are right about the Prophet Muhammad—he believed in nonviolence, not retaliation.
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Spiritual Politics

Lessons from the Shadow Side of Football: Building the Religious Counterculture

To uproot our most entrenched institutions, we need a countercultural vision. The story of professional football illustrates why.
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Rethinking Religion

The Genesis of Gender

A closer look at the Book of Genesis reveals how deeply the gender binary is ingrained in our culture. What would it mean to smash this binary?
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Environment

Toward an Eco-Theology of God’s Image

Letting go of self-centered and anthropocentric thinking—“we are the only images of God”—will help us reconnect to our authentic mystical roots as lovers of all beings.
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Buddhism

A Bodhisattva’s Approach to Climate Activism

Bodhisattvas commit daily to an impossible task: the liberation of all living beings. What can climate activists learn from their active nonattachment?
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Spirituality

A God That Could Be Real

Unconscious evolution of God-ideas is inevitable, but conscious evolution of God-ideas has been harshly discouraged. This must change, or else we’ll never be able to bring our best knowledge into the process of rethinking God for our time.
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Judaism

Growing Toward God: Jewish Movement through an Axial Age

Just as plants are heliotropic beings that grow toward the sun, we humans are theotropic beings that grow toward God. And just as a tree doesn’t have to understand the sun to feel it and be fed by it, we don’t have to understand God to be nourished by subtle sacred influences.
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Judaism

Jewish Education During the Nazis as Spiritual Resistance

“Somehow Nazism and Martin Buber worked together to give a lot of us a much deeper feeling for what Judaism offers.”
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Disability

Made by God, Broken by Life: Developing an African American Hermeneutic for Disability

I believe it’s time to develop an African American hermeneutic for approaching disability language and metaphors of brokenness in religious discourse.
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Disability

High Holy Days in the Hospital

“On Rosh Hashanah it is written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed. Who shall live and who shall die, who shall perish by fire and who by water, who by Roman soldier and who by cancer…” “No, that’s not …
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Politics & Society

Illness and Innocence

Why do many of us feel guilty when we catch a cold or grow a tumor? Is it because so many religions depict illness as divine punishment?
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Disability

Who Can Be Commanded?: Disability in Jewish Thought and Culture

Recently two dear friends asked me to advise them about their pregnant daughter, who just discovered that her fetus has Noonan syndrome, a genetic condition that can result in heart defects, unusual facial features, short stature, and learning problems. The …
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Disability

No Casseroles for Schizophrenics: The Church and Mental Illness

One important lesson we must all learn, Christian or otherwise, is that the patient is not the illness. Symptoms of the illness are not the patient’s fault nor are they signs of a sick soul.
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