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Black, White and Mormon

Mica McGriggs | Posted 10.12.2015 | Religion
Mica McGriggs

The words Black, White, and Mormon are all important parts of my identity, they were also the title of a conference recently held at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. The conference attempted to create a platform for a critical conversation; the intersection of race and the LDS church.

New Faces of Ministry Reclaim and Renew the Church

Wayne Meisel | Posted 09.30.2015 | Religion
Wayne Meisel

For 59 seminarians and recent grads who traveled both across the street and across the country, the end of the summer meant either a return to school to finish a master's degree, or the beginning of new expressions of ministry.

Jesus, Ignored

Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith | Posted 09.30.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith

I have long wondered how in the world there can be Jesus, with millions of people professing to believe in him, and there can yet be racism, sexism, homophobia, militarism, hatred and enmity.

Bluesin' the Gospel

Greg Carey | Posted 10.06.2015 | Religion
Greg Carey

Despite its essential role in opening the way to other musical forms, the blues remains a bit of a niche genre. I remember touring the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame in Cleveland, where the blues were presented, along with bluegrass and gospel, as a precursor to rock.

Hope Dies Last: A Word on Kelly Gissendaner

Alisha L. Gordon | Posted 09.25.2015 | Religion
Alisha L. Gordon

As we remember brothers like Troy Davis, as we think about Kelly Gissendaner who would be executed by the State of Georgia on the 29th of this month, we remember what it means to die a good death, leaving a mark on a world that forces us to face our own idiosyncrasies and short comings.

The Joy and Pain of Uncertainty

Mario Livio | Posted 09.25.2015 | GPS for the Soul
Mario Livio

In his famous "Apology," Plato cites Socrates as saying: "That which I may not have known-through-seeing in no way I imagine myself to have known-thro...

¡Bienvenido Pope Francisco to Améric@ Latin@!

Carmen Nanko-Fernández | Posted 09.22.2015 | Religion
Carmen Nanko-Fernández

Personally, as a Latin@ Catholic theologian who is una nieta de inmigrantes, I share your passion for justice for all migrants. I am particularly drawn to the attention you bring to cities in your theologizing, probably because I identify as hurban@́, Hispanic and urban, thanks in part to my New York roots and distinctive Bronx accent.

Wildfires, Angels and the Hand of God

Peter M. J. Hess, Ph.D. | Posted 09.18.2015 | Religion
Peter M. J. Hess, Ph.D.

I may never be able to understand the "purpose" behind God "allowing" this tragedy. But of one thing I remain absolutely convinced: In the loving, compassionate, nonjudgmental and open-handed support of thousands of people, I see quietly revealed the hands and heart and spirit of the Being some of us call "God."

Why Does God Turn to Poetry? A Dialogue With Christian Wiman

J. Todd Billings | Posted 09.08.2015 | Religion
J. Todd Billings

In our books, we both turn to poetry in our season of suffering and theological reflection. Christian turned to George Herbert and a score of contemporary poets. I turned to the poetry of the Psalms and Job. Why did we turn to poetry?

A Protestant's Hope for the Roman Catholic Year of Mercy

Rob Lee | Posted 09.02.2015 | Religion
Rob Lee

In this broken world we need mercy, we need redemption, and we most certainly need to be united. So as our Catholic brothers and sisters celebrate and mark their year of mercy, may we in the Protestant tradition be bold enough to share in that work of grace with them.

Real Spiritual: Decline

Brian Akers | Posted 09.01.2015 | Religion
Brian Akers

While traditional church may be in decline mine is just starting to thrive. If I listen to this narrative that "churching" is going out of style I might hang up my hat and think, "I got to the party too late and now no one wants to dance anymore."

40 Essential Books For Any #BlackChurchSyllabus

The Huffington Post | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 08.24.2015 | Religion

The black church has a long and important history in the United States, and it continues to serve as a driver of social justice work in many...

Kendrick Lamar's Theology of Alright

Stanley T. Talbert | Posted 08.13.2015 | Religion
Stanley T. Talbert

If you have seen Kendrick Lamar's latest music video, "Alright," then you know it is arguably one of the most epic music videos of all time. Lamar's "Alright" gives you a lift of hope in the midst of perpetual antipathy for black and brown human lives in our world today.

How #BlackLivesMatter Inspires People To Put Faith Into Action

Religion News Service | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 08.09.2015 | Religion

(RNS) When news broke of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., a year ago (Aug. 9, 2014), St. Louis seminary professor Leah Gunning Fran...

My New Course on the Bible in Popular Music

Michael Gilmour | Posted 07.29.2015 | Religion
Michael Gilmour

Conversations about religion in art, and more precisely religious meanings in art are tricky. Lyricists obviously generate those conversations by their use of religious imagery but the relationship between music and (perceived) spiritual meaning has at least as much or more to do with audiences as artists.

I Am A White Christian And Black Lives Matter

Rev. Peter Goodwin Heltzel, Ph.D. | Posted 07.16.2015 | Religion
Rev. Peter Goodwin Heltzel, Ph.D.

While some claim that Dylann Roof is mentally ill, the truly frightening possibility is that he is sane and sober -- that he was raised under a white supremacist culture and is acting out his racism in the most violent of ways.

Can Anything Good Come From Charleston? Ferguson? Nazareth?

Rev. Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder | Posted 07.14.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder

There is a theology of geography. There is a connection between space and fate. There is something unspoken that connects destiny with places, places with people. Towns and cities do not surface with notoriety. Situations or quite often the deeds of people precipitate such famous or infamous states.

Rethinking the Creeds - Do Christians Have to Believe All That Stuff?

Barbara Falconer Newhall | Posted 07.14.2015 | Religion
Barbara Falconer Newhall

So powerful was the Christian belief in belief, that in some eras, heresy - incorrect belief - could get you burned at the stake. But now, according to Harvard professor and theologian Harvey Cox, the age-old Christian belief in belief is becoming a thing of the past: the Age of Belief is over.

Jeremiah Wright's Words Hauntingly Relevant Today

Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith | Posted 07.07.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith

Although Obama distanced himself from Rev. Wright in order to help his chances of winning the election, the fact of the matter is that Wright's message of the pervasiveness of racism was spot on... and it still is.

The New Gay America

Arzu Kaya Uranli | Posted 07.06.2015 | Impact
Arzu Kaya Uranli

I haven't come across any statistics showing how Muslim Americans approach the topic of gay marriage, but my experience tells me that there are diverse opinions about it.

Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder - But What If There Is No Beholder?

Barbara Falconer Newhall | Posted 06.26.2015 | Religion
Barbara Falconer Newhall

Something big and white and cloudy was lurking in the steep canyon below our house. I stood up from my computer and peered out the window for a better look. It was flowering tree, growing wild.

White Gods and Black Devils: The Rhetoric of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner-Pt. 1

Andre E. Johnson | Posted 06.02.2015 | Religion
Andre E. Johnson

Henry McNeal Turner's writing focused on much during the post reconstruction period. One of the first major debates Turner found himself in was on African missions and emigration.

We've Been Thinking About God All Wrong

Paul Brandeis Raushenbush | Posted 05.29.2015 | Religion
Paul Brandeis Raushenbush

The religious news is a wake up call -- but not to a retrenchment of past practices; but a radical reassessment of the way we talk about God.

Accountability For Anti-Intellectualism: Three Changes That Will Help Christianity Reverse Its Decline

Crystal Lewis | Posted 05.21.2015 | Religion
Crystal Lewis

The unsavory truth is that a large number of people leave organized Christianity because they are unable to find an adequate bridge between faith and reason within church walls.

Religion, Catechism, and Parables

Catherine Nagle | Posted 05.11.2015 | Religion
Catherine Nagle

Catechism classes were part of the Catholic education I received. But regardless of how much we know about religion, isn't it the same truth that we all come to sooner or later?