I've been recouperating from a nasty cold (I'm still kinda sick) so you haven't seen many posts from me lately. I have come across a few things that are somehow tied together in my mind, and point to the ways in which religion can bring out the worst in us, even as all religious traditions seems to be about bringing out the best in us.
I was reading the transcript of an interview given by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, of Harry Belefonte, who was, at the last moment, disinvited from speaking at the funeral of Coretta Scott King. I think for a lot of people, where the funeral was, and the way in which it happened, wasn't something that sat well with them, particularly that Bush was at the funeral, and spoke. There are some pretty interesting comments he makes in the interview:
One of the really cool things, in my mind, about being both religiously pluralistic in perspective, as well as intensely interested in contemplative practice and mystical thought, is that you get to think about how practices and concepts from outside one's own religious tradition can positively impact one's own spiritual practice and journey.
I got a heads up from Ethics Daily, a Baptist (not Southern) news source, about a group of denominations that have been meeting for a while, and have come up with a new Holiness Manifesto. Why this was interesting to me was because, in my previous life as a fundamentalist, I belonged to two holiness denominations, the Nazarenes, and the Christian and Missionary Alliance. The Salvation Army, by the way, is in this group.
I had an interesting discussion today, which reminded me that I'd had a post percolating on abortion for a while, and I might as well get it out. The conversation was at breakfast this morning with my fellow Bentonite (PSR dorm), Matthew Fox, and Rosemary Radford Reuther, who is considered one of the major feminist theologians ever. How cool is that?
One of the cool things I'm learning in "the bible class" this semester (short for "Interpreting Sacred Texts") is that every way of reading the bible is interpretation. And that one very convoluted form of reading the bible is to read it as literally true. In fact, it really takes some mental gymnastics to do it. Case in point: the story of creation in Genesis.
I've accumulated some neat links and webstuff that I've come across lately that are worth highlighting - things folks might be interested in. You can always check out my del.icio.us links - there's new stuff all of the time.
One of the things I'm learning, due to a really fortuitous combination of courses this semester (primarily the combination of the big bible class, and Jewish mysticism) is that I get to do interesting comparisons of Judaism and Christianity. Judaism was of course, the religion of Jesus. What fascinates me most right now is that fact that we share a book (the Hebrew Bible) doesn't mean much. The fundamentals of both religions are quite different.