4 Women & a Train Station: Reflection on an Interfaith Moment

union station

Four women outside the entrance to Union Station, lingering in the cool breeze on a sunny summer day. Two women perched behind displays of brochures: “Do You Know Jesus?” and “What About Your Afterlife?” query passersby. One women in hijab, her religiosity also on display, watching the same crowd of travelers coming and going from [Read More...]

Why We Need to Teach Interfaith Understanding

Collin_County,_Texas

Amidst conservative Christian fervor over religious freedom, it’s important to remember what real threats to religious freedom in the U.S. look like. A news item getting little attention is currently unfolding in Texas: “A proposal to bring a Muslim cemetery to a rural North Texas town has stoked fears among residents who are trying to convince community [Read More...]

How Should People of Faith Respond to {Bruce} Jenner? (#CallMeCaitlyn UPDATE)

trans

[For updated reflections on #CallMeCaitlyn, scroll to the end of this post.] As Bruce Jenner prepares to tell some of his story in an interview with Diane Sawyer, I find myself intrigued and terrified.  Intrigued to hear how he tells it.  Terrified of the hateful mockery that is likely to continue and intensify. On that [Read More...]

Christian Privilege & the Religion Professor

ifyc better

Today is Better Together Day!  The designation comes from the Interfaith Youth Core, lifting up the day to encourage more people to have one conversation with a person of a different religious or non-religious background.  It’s an effort to combat some of the basic ignorance about other religious views that pervades our culture, and religious [Read More...]

Interfaithing Round-Up

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This weekend I’m travelling to Washington, D.C., to attend The President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, along with the preceding convening of the Vanguard Interfaith Campus Network.  The Interfaith Youth Core is the connection point here, working with colleges and universities around the country on integrating interreligious cooperation, interfaith dialogue, community service, and work [Read More...]

At the Intersections: Home, Hope, & Gaza

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Many good people live and work at the intersections, and I occasionally invite someone to tell a story from where they stand.  Today’s piece comes from Fatima Alshantti, who was a student in my Women in Islam class last spring.  She is a sophomore majoring in Biology-Pre Nursing at Illinois College. She is a graduate of [Read More...]

Your Summer (Feminist) (Theological) Reading List

transformative

I received an email query this weekend that read, in part: I’m looking for some guidance as to what an almost Lutheran pastor with a strong feminist heart should read to grow my understanding of feminism and feminist theology. Here is my response: What a lovely description, “a strong feminist heart.”  Because that is surely [Read More...]

Quran, Gender, Equality: A Twitterview with Amina Wadud

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Earlier this week I wrote about Scott Kugle’s book Homosexuality in Islam, and how it was the work of Amina Wadud that prompted questions leading me and my students to that book.  Here is the Twitter exchange I had with Wadud earlier last month in which she answers the question about whether heteronormativity is established [Read More...]

A Paradox of Religion & Tradition: Homosexuality in Islam

kugle

“So, what about gay and lesbian Muslims?” The last time I taught my course on Women in Islam, we were working through Amina Wadud’s argument in Quran and Woman that equality has both cosmological and eschatological grounding in the Quran and in Islam when a student asked this question.  It was in response to Wadud’s [Read More...]

Talking Interfaith Studies

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Note: Due to the winter storm, I wasn’t actually able to travel to this conference! I wanted to share about it anyway: The longer I teach religion, the more intentional I become about teaching religions.  It’s not enough for any of us to know about only one religion. Religious literacy (or illiteracy as the case [Read More...]


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