Rethinking Religion

There is a ferment in the world’s religions. We have all heard about conservative and fundamentalist religion. But we hear much less about religion that is deeply spiritual and nondogmatic, that builds empathic communities and inspires people to activism to create a caring, democratic, egalitarian, and environmentally sane society. Learn about such religion and spirituality here, in articles by experts and lay members of many religions, by “spiritual but not religious” people, and by atheists and agnostics who appreciate much of what, beliefs aside, religion or spirituality does for people’s lives. Click here to read Michael Lerner's essay on God.

Most Recent Articles

Interfaith

The Tao of Torah
by Charles Burack
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?
by Judith Abrams
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
by Michael Lerner
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
by Simran Jeet Singh and Prabhjot Singh
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
by Mark I. Wallace
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
by Ana Levy-Lyons
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
by Shmuel Klatzkin
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
by Mordecai Schreiber
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
by Stephan Bauman and Jenny Yang
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
by Matthew Fox
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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