The Transient and the Permanent in Christianity: Theodore Parker and the Transcendentalist Revolt

AmericanHeretic

“[I invite you to] imagine you are in Boston some summer Sunday morning in the mid 1850s. You decide to go hear Theodore Parker, the famous Transcendentalist minister, preach to the 28th Congregational Society. Having never been, you arrange to accompany a friend who attends regularly. As the two of you turn the corner from Tremont onto Winter Street, you are struck by the sheer size of the crowd gathered there. The sight of nearly three thousand people massing for a routine religious service i … [Read more...]

“The Selma Awakening”

Selma

I have posted previously on “Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall: Claiming Our Social Justice Story” in which I invited us to reflect on the activist legacy in this country. And today during the 50th anniversary month of the Selma to Montgomery Marches, the core questions I will be inviting us to reflect on is when the calls come to take action for social, economic, and environmental justice, will we stand up, will we speak up, will we show up? To begin to set the stage historically, when you think o … [Read more...]

Can You Be Both a Religious Liberal and a Political Conservative?

Rasor

Religious Liberals (sometimes called "Religious Progressives") are open to growing, changing, and evolving based on new evidence, insights, and experiences. In contrast, Religious Conservatives tend to resist changing, growing, and evolving even when new facts come to light. Theological conservatives tend to preserve traditions, current social structures, and long-standing community ties that can be undermined if innovation comes too rapidly. But can you be a religious liberal and a political c … [Read more...]

“Find Out How Much Love the World Can Hold”

The singer-songwriter Dar Williams has a song called “After All.” (If you aren’t familiar with Williams, I recommend her album Out There Live.) The opening lyrics are, “Go ahead, push your luck / Find out how much love the world can hold.” She continues: Once upon a time I had controlAnd reined my soul in tight…So I stopped the tideFroze it up from insideAnd it felt like a winter machineThat you go through and thenYou catch your breath and winter starts againAnd every … [Read more...]

“Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall”: Claiming Our Social Justice Story

Zinn

Monday, January 21, 2013 was a High Holy Day in our nation’s "civil religion.” The second inauguration for our country’s first black president was itself highly symbolic, but that day in January had the additional symbolism of being both Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and the anniversary month of Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation. What a stunning three-step sweep of history from President Lincoln’s 1863 executive order freeing all slaves, one hundred year later to Dr. King’s 1963 dr … [Read more...]

The Hunger Games, the Zombie Apocalypse, and the Meaning of Myths, Old and New

Greeks

The Greek’s accepted their myths as true in the sense that they were not doubted, but they were not accepted in the way that everyday reality is….  A Greek conventionally put the gods “in heaven,” but he would have been astounded to actually see them in the sky.  He would have been no less astounded if someone using time in its literal sense, told him that Hephaestus had just remarried or that Athena had aged a great deal lately.  Then he would have realized that in his own eyes mythic time had o … [Read more...]


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