Ten Prayers that Changed the World

I am grateful to have the opportunity to participate in a blog tour about Jean-Pierre Isbouts’ latest book, Ten Prayers That Changed the World. The book takes the fascinating approach of choosing individuals, and key historical moments connected to or surrounding those individuals, which also gave rise to famous prayers. Isbouts approaches the subject as a historian, and he treats the [Read More…]

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Sacred Selfies

I learned that the last supper selfie I shared recently is by artist Gunduz Agayev, who has created other images of religious people taking selfies. The Akedah selfie below is the one that seemed most striking and disturbing to me. Click through to see the others. [Read more…]

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Isaac, I Am Your Father

The image is by Matt Page and has the title “The Faith of Anakin.” I was really struck when I came across this Star Wars akedah on Imgur. I’m not entirely sure what to make of it. But I suppose that one reflection that can be offered is that Anakin Skywalker does better than Abraham in [Read More…]

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Pop Culture Characters in the Bible

Hemant Mehta shared some examples of the art of Ben Riddlebarger, introducing characters from pop culture (mostly television and movies) into scenes from the Bible. Here are a few of my favorites:     [Read more…]

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A Test it is Better to Fail

Rachel Held Evans blogged about the story of Abraham trying to sacrifice Isaac, on the same day that I was scheduled to speak to a group of local artists about the story. She said what I personally consider the most appropriate response: I’d like to think that even if those demands thundered from the heavens [Read More…]

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When Abraham Met Socrates

In my first year seminar class “Faith, Doubt, and Reason,” students read part of Genesis and the Euthyphro dialogue before being asked in an assignment to retell the Abraham story, putting themselves in Abraham’s shoes and wrestling with the question of what makes actions morals. This semester, I had a student start the dialogue this way: Socrates: [Read More…]

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Which Came First? Thoughts about Jesus and the Binding of Isaac

I’ve been reading a wonderful book about the Isaac story, James Goodman’s But Where Is the Lamb?: Imagining the Story of Abraham and Isaac. It is a history of interpretation, but written in an unconventional manner – as though the author of the Akedah story were surveying what future readers would say and do in response [Read More…]

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Abraham and Isaac Live

As you will gather from the video above, the title of this post indicates not that these two patriarchs live, but that the video is a live performance of Benjamin Britten’s canticle “Abraham and Isaac.” See Bob Macdonald’s blog for another performance, and the text that Britten set here. Of related interest (since the story is one [Read More…]

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Respecting Beliefs

I came across this image on Pinterest, on the same day that the Pope excommunicated the entire Mafia from the Roman Catholic Church. Religion can be a powerful force to do harm or to combat those who do harm. And the line between the two sorts of religion is not one that lies between different [Read More…]

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A Close Shave

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Not Just a Pot

There is a comparison between God and a potter on the one hand, and humanity and pottery on the other, in both testaments of the Christian Bible. The analogy is not apt. Pots do not feel pain. And as human beings, we rarely agree that the simple act of creating means that the one who [Read More…]

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