Rethinking Religion

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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Christianity

The Futilitarian Heresy

A heresy with regard to Christian hope has arisen. I will call it “futilitarianism,” having stolen that name from one of its adherents. Futilitarianism is a fairly sober and comforting faith. It allows its believers to be honest about the current crises without having to think through how a positive outcome might be strategized and accomplished.
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Books

Physics Through a Jewish Lens?

Einstein’s Jewish Science: Physics At The Intersection of Politics And Religion by Steven Gimbel. Review by Donald Goldsmith
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War & Peace

We Are All Victims of War: Veteran Liberation Theology

To form a powerful anti-war movement, we need to bridge the gap between U.S. veterans and pacifists. Collaborating on a veteran liberation theology is one place to start.
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Economy/Poverty/Wealth

What’s Next in Faith-Based Community Organizing: A Rolling Jubilee

Does life in our debt-driven political economy make your faith feel fraudulent? Debt cancellation is the biblical norm. We need a jubilee to release us from our shame.
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Judaism

Reimagining Judaism: The Great Teshuvah

It’s time to usher in a new paradigm–one of the turning and returning to the earth, to each other, and to integrity.
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Christianity

Red Flags Round Pope Francis

Like everyone else on earth, I wish the new pope well and I hope he truly emulates some of Francis of Assisi’s priorities of defending Mother Earth who is in so much peril, living simply (how one does that in a palace like the Vatican surrounded by an obsequious court is another question), speaking out on behalf of the poor, impoverished, sick, and neglected, and speaking out on those social and economic structures that institutionalize injustice. I also hope he cleans up the rat’s nest of corruption, pedophile cover-up, ego mania, and power-addicted prelates who run the curia that in turn runs the Vatican. Good luck and God’s Blessing!
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Spiritual Politics

For your Passover Seders or Easter Gatherings

Both Passover and Easter have a message of liberation and hope for the downtrodden of the earth. Yet too often we fail to see the continuities between the original liberatory messages of these holidays and the contemporary need for liberation and resurrection of the dead parts of our consciousness. This is our first attempt to craft a Seder addressing the needs of the 99 percent.
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Christianity

The Religious Roots of the Minimum Wage

Will raising the minimum wage put more money in the pockets of America’s working poor? Or will it have the opposite effect, throwing more poor people out of work? That’s the question we ask whenever anyone proposes a hike in the minimum wage, as President Obama did in his State of the Union Address. But it’s also the wrong question, diverting us from the biggest one of all: what are the rights that we share as human beings?
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Rethinking Religion

How the Papal Conclave Could Renew Religion: My Two Votes for Pope

Because the Vatican is so sick and infested with evil spirits, it is time to admit that in its present configuration history has passed it by, the Holy Spirit has exited, and its usefulness has run out. But electing a person of genuine spiritual and ethical stature such as the Dalai Lama who also stands for global intelligence and peace and who calls compassion “my religion” would be a genuine act of humility and vision by the voting cardinals. It would also draw us nearer to the real teaching of Jesus and the person who Jesus was. Electing a non-westerner and a non-Christian who recognizes the spiritual genius of Jesus and the truth of the “Buddha Nature” or “Cosmic Christ” in all beings would refresh the move for interspirituality and interfaith that our planet needs so badly. (A bishop of Rome could be elected, hopefully by the people, who would live in that bishop’s place—the Lateran—and preside over the Roman flock meanwhile.) This creative and visionary act by the conclave would help turn the tide of history at this time when our species is in mortal danger of destroying itself by weaponry and wars and/or by continued ecological imperialism, destroying the very nest that feeds and nourishes us.
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Judaism

A City Where Justice Dwells

Place matters. Even in this globalized, Internet era, I believe in making long-term commitments to specific places, and especially to the places where we live. Our communal social justice efforts should begin by choosing the places where we will make an impact.
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Gender & Sexuality

Overcoming the Sexual and Religious Legacies of Slavery

Because of the U.S. history of slavery, assumptions about the sexuality of African American women in the United States differ from those made about European American women. The sexual stereotype of enslaved women as licentious extends far back into history; modern racism extended it to all Black women and also used the myth of Black hypersexuality as a reason to enslave Black people.
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Introduction to the Justice in the City Section

Geographical Borders and the Ethical and Political Boundaries of Responsibility What would happen if we took seriously the biblical idea that we are responsible for the well-being of everyone who has passed through our city, even if only momentarily? In …
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Poetry

The Sudden Angel Affrighted Me: God Wrestling in Denise Levertov’s Life and Art

Doubt and uncertainty for Levertov often took the form of questioning a God who could allow so much suffering and injustice in the world. There was a light in her eyes and a sense of ease in her body. It seemed to me that she had found a deep peace and an abiding sense of the presence of the divine.
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Rethinking Religion

The Path of the Parent: How Children Can Enrich Your Spiritual Life

Children are naturally mindful. They always live fully in the present, and the world is a fantastically real and interesting place to them.
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