Category: Other Religions

George Saunders Imagines Life After Death

George Saunders has made a career out of telling stories about people who are caught in the gears of the universe. Ensnared in events and social systems far bigger than any individual, his characters either conform themselves to the machine or get ground up by it. That may sound like a recipe for a po-faced wallow in misery. But the magic of a Saunders short story—captured in his 2013 collection,…  [more]

What if Christians Were the Ones Being Banned?

Following his Jan. 27 executive order suspending travel and immigration from seven predominately Muslim countries, President Donald Trump told CBN News’ David Brody that persecuted Christians would be given priority when it comes to refugee status. To understand why Christians—yes, Christians—should find this troubling, let’s imagine a somewhat similar scenario. Japanese Prime Minister Bans…  [more]

Why I Changed My Mind About Yoga

A yoga studio is about as common as a Starbucks in New York City. Every few blocks there is a studio welcoming the busy New Yorker to come in, develop a yoga practice, and breathe. As I walk to and from the subway, I see yogis wearing t-shirts that exclaim “Namaste” or “Sleep. Eat. Yoga.” When I moved to New York to fulfill my call as a Minister of Word and Sacrament, I passed each studio…  [more]

The spiritual enigma that was Prince

Although his sexy and hypnotic blend of pop, rock, soul and R&B caused great consternation among Christians and other moralists, Prince Rogers Nelson was, above all, a surprisingly spiritual figure. With his death yesterday at the age of 57, we lost a unique voice in an environment that is otherwise soaked in humanism, hedonism and glamour. This is the man who recited the entire Lord’s Prayer right in the…  [more]

A way forward after Wheaton’s “same God” debate

To hijab or not to hijab. That may have been the way the controversy started, but it was a different issue that brought the conflict between Wheaton College and Larycia Hawkins to a most ambiguous conclusion last week. Hawkins, a tenured associate professor of political science, was placed on administrative leave in mid-December for a Facebook post in which she donned a headscarf, or a hijab, to show “embodied…  [more]

Eboo Patel on interfaith leadership

We have another video from Calvin College’s ongoing January Series for you, this time of Eboo Patel’s presentation on “Interfaith Leadership: Engaging Religious and Philosophical Diversity in the 21st Century.” An American Muslim of Indian heritage, Patel has written two books about interfaith cooperation, Acts of Faith and Sacred Ground, and is founder and executive director of the…  [more]

The eschatology of ISIS

It’s hard to follow the news today without hearing mention of ISIS. The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria has filled a power vacuum left in the region, established a caliphate and engaged in acts of terror that have resulted in nearly 1,000 civilian deaths outside of Syria and Iraq, in addition to the many more who have been killed within the region. What beliefs are fueling this terrible and destructive…  [more]

Jesus was a refugee

Jesus was a refugee, along with his mother Mary and father Joseph. They fled their native Israel out of fear for their lives. They were able to return some years later, only after the politics of their homeland changed. Sound familiar? It should. It is happening today, and in the same neighborhood that the Holy Family was from. People there again fear for their lives. The vicious and brutal militants of ISIS are…  [more]

Paris, terror and what to say when it all comes down

With 50,000 others I ran the New York City Marathon two weeks ago. We ran through five boroughs and crossed over four bridges. It was challenging, colorful and crowded. From a variety of angles during the race I could see 1 World Trade Center - the Freedom Tower. I saw it from bridges that had a view of the skyline; I saw it glimmering in the sun and poking above other buildings as we ran down Fifth Avenue; I saw it…  [more]

Hummus for peace and the beauty of communion

After a series of stabbings and shootings in the Holy Land, I would have guessed that lines along ethnic and religious differences would be drawn sharper than ever. The owner of a restaurant in Tel Aviv, though, has taken a different approach. He advertised 50 percent off for Jewish and Arab patrons who eat together. The Facebook page of the Hummus Bar makes the peacemaking motivation even more clear: “Are you…  [more]

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