Thinking Anew About God: An Introduction

A significant number of Tikkun readers, perhaps inspired by the surge of New Atheist thinking, have told us that they don’t believe in God. No worries! Our managing editor and many of our authors identify as agnostics or atheists too.

Some of you have also told us that even though you support the magazine’s controversial stance against Israeli oppression of Palestinians, its opposition to racism and homophobia in the United States, and its powerful critique of global capitalism, you nevertheless see Tikkun’s talk of spirituality as a slippery slope back to God. And you’ve said you’re uncomfortable with this because you see beliefs in God as playing a reactionary role in contemporary society.

When these kinds of attitudes are expressed in many hip contemporary religious communities, a common reply is: “Well, the God you don’t believe in is the God we and most contemporary spiritual/religious people don’t believe in either. Those sexist, racist, homophobic, and hierarchical conceptions of God are not really what most enlightened God believers are talking about in the twenty-first century. And from Martin Luther King Jr. to Pope Francis, it is often religious leaders who are the most outspoken in their opposition to the ethical distortions of the contemporary world.”

Yet many liberal and progressive people continue to be unaware of the truly radical notions of God that progressive theologians and believers are exploring. That’s why we’ve decided to present some of those radical notions in this special issue of Tikkun. Visit to read the powerful web exclusives associated with this issue, including contributions by Bradley Shavit Artson, John B. Cobb Jr., Matthew Fox, Catherine Keller, Donna Schaper, and Asma Uddin.

We’d be delighted to hear your critiques of these articles: please send responses to or directly to our managing editor at

(To return to the Summer 2014 Table of Contents, click here.)


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