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What is a Koan ?

J. H. McKenna, Ph.D. | Posted 09.24.2016 | Religion
J. H. McKenna, Ph.D.

Koans are the special short questions of spiritual masters in the Chan and Zen traditions. (Chinese Chan became Japanese Zen). Some seventeen hundred...

Getting Ready for the High Holidays with Bruce Springsteen

Rabbi David Kalb | Posted 09.20.2016 | Entertainment
Rabbi David Kalb

On September 14, Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band completed the River Tour in Foxborough, Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium. On August 30th, the Band finished their three-night run at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands, in Bruce's beloved home state of New Jersey.

What is Marriage ?

J. H. McKenna, Ph.D. | Posted 09.23.2016 | Religion
J. H. McKenna, Ph.D.

Surveying world religions and cultures, marriage can be described as a life-long agreement between two or more people typically involving three commit...

Advice to Young Ph.D.s in Religious Studies

J. H. McKenna, Ph.D. | Posted 09.18.2016 | Religion
J. H. McKenna, Ph.D.

Circumstances may have changed. But in 1993 when I earned a newly minted Ph.D., a senior scholar gave me the following advice: "As a freshly minted...

A Rabbi in a Muslim House of Mourning

Rabbi David Kalb | Posted 08.29.2016 | Religion
Rabbi David Kalb

When tragedies happen, people want to know why they occur. During such harrowing times, answers are incredibly difficult to come by, and as well-meaning as they are, people inadvertently provide meaningless or hurtful answers.

What is a Cult ?

J. H. McKenna, Ph.D. | Posted 08.27.2016 | Religion
J. H. McKenna, Ph.D.

The word 'cult' is never benign in religious terminology as it is in the world of art, where Johnny Stonenoggin filmster extraordinaire may cult-ivate...

Why The Universe Has Wiggle Room

Shayne Looper | Posted 08.22.2016 | Religion
Shayne Looper

Through the very act of creation, God made room for his creatures and conferred upon them the dignity of having their own place and the authority to shape it.

Choosing a College for a Common Good

Brian E. Konkol | Posted 08.04.2016 | Religion
Brian E. Konkol

Before asking "where" or even "how much will it cost", perhaps it is most worthwhile to first consider "why" when choosing a college. Why college? For starters, one should challenge the common assumption that campuses are mere four-year corridors to higher wages, elevated social status, and comfortable lifestyles.

What is the End of the World ?

J. H. McKenna, Ph.D. | Posted 08.29.2016 | Religion
J. H. McKenna, Ph.D.

Every year of the calendar, for ages and ages, up to and including this year, there have been religious persons convinced that the end of the world wa...

The Nature of Creativity, Nature And Delight

Robert 'Robin' Gottfried | Posted 07.25.2016 | Religion
Robert 'Robin' Gottfried

Photo credit: Pixabay When we think of names people give God, Creativity usually doesn't come to mind. Yet scripture scholars say that God's most fun...

What Is An Atheist ?

J. H. McKenna, Ph.D. | Posted 07.27.2016 | Religion
J. H. McKenna, Ph.D.

"So shall I do to the freshest things now reigning, and make stale the glistering of this present" (TIME, as the Chorus in The Winter's Tale by Shakes...

A Theology That Includes Anger

Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith | Posted 07.14.2016 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith

It's all right to be angry. In fact, it's normal to be angry and healthy to admit it. A young woman called me recently. She was angry over the...

Single Work Appreciation Day: "Les Migrants," Michel Suret-Canale

Daniel Maidman | Posted 07.10.2016 | Arts
Daniel Maidman

"Les Migrants", oil on canvas, 30 cm x 30 cm, june 2016 This is a new painting by French artist Michel Suret-Canale. It is called "Les Migrants," or ...

Beyond Divestment: Global Warming, Trauma And The Call For Pastoral Care

Wayne Meisel | Posted 06.21.2016 | Religion
Wayne Meisel

For many who champion divestment, it is seen as something both symbolic and substantial. For those who argue against divesting, a key argument is that investing is a way to maintain a voice and influence discovery and innovation around cleaner forms of energy.

What is Salvation?

J. H. McKenna, Ph.D. | Posted 06.18.2016 | Religion
J. H. McKenna, Ph.D.

Salvation. noun. In the West, rescuing few. In the East, rescuing all. Any religion that assigns to humans one lifetime and also insists that bel...

Orlando: How Our Ideology Is Killing Us

Robert Hall | Posted 06.17.2016 | Politics
Robert Hall

Our enemy's beliefs and connected actions threaten our safety and our way of life. Our failure to connect our beliefs to the higher purpose of constructive relationships blocks our attempts to respond with holistic, strategic action. It is time to Relationship-up!

In the Wake of Orlando, It is Okay to Change Your Mind

Abby Norman | Posted 06.17.2016 | Religion
Abby Norman

It was the suicide rate that stopped my theology dead in its tracks. While only 4.6 percent of the total U.S. population attempts suicide, 30-40 perce...

What Is Original Sin?

J. H. McKenna, Ph.D. | Posted 06.11.2016 | Religion
J. H. McKenna, Ph.D.

Original Sin. noun. An inborn guilt-worthy moral limp--in other words, a contradiction in terms. Any fetus may acquire DNA that will eventually hob...

The "Wahhh!", the Chant, and the Club: Football as Religious Experience

Chris Fici | Posted 06.06.2016 | Sports
Chris Fici

For all the sturm-und-drang and hands to the heavens about the decline and downfall of religion in the 21st Century, I'm here to say everything is qui...

What is the Devil?

J. H. McKenna, Ph.D. | Posted 06.05.2016 | Religion
J. H. McKenna, Ph.D.

From An Opinionated Dictionary of Religion at DEVIL. Noun. A felon on license from God to wreak havoc on Earth. The notion that u...

A Good Thing about That Emoji Bible

Kristin M. Swenson, Ph.D. | Posted 06.03.2016 | Religion
Kristin M. Swenson, Ph.D.

One of my favorite questions as a Bible-scholar-lady is "So, what's the best translation?" I love this question not only because it opens the door to ...

Good and Evil in the Way We Look at Things

Jonah C. Steinberg | Posted 06.03.2016 | Religion
Jonah C. Steinberg

Do you consider the good and ill you experience as being correlated with your own goodness or mischief? It's a strong proclivity in humankind, the te...

The Economics of the Eucharist: What the Bible Really Says About Communing Unworthily

David J. Dunn, PhD | Posted 06.01.2016 | Religion
David J. Dunn, PhD

Perhaps no other passage of Scripture has contributed more to pious anxiety than what Paul wrote about the Eucharist in his first letter to the Corinthians, "For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment upon himself..." (1 Cor. 11.29).

What Are Letters From the Damned ?

J. H. McKenna, Ph.D. | Posted 07.28.2016 | Religion
J. H. McKenna, Ph.D.

From Cro-Magnon Woman in Hell: You always hear about Cro-Magnon Man, and I just want everyone to know there were women too amongst us Cromies. All o...

Wicked Theology

Greg Carey | Posted 05.20.2016 | Religion
Greg Carey

Let's be honest. All Christians interpret Scripture in conversation with their social and political commitments.