Seasons of Gifts: Preaching Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany

I invite you to consider how your preaching through this season invites us to dwell in the mood of each season, first anticipating, then celebrating, and finally reveling in the story of the God who forsook glory and power to take on our lot and our life that we might live with hope. [Read more…]

The Truth about Thanksgiving: Why You Should Celebrate

The antidote to feel-good history is not feel-bad history but honest and inclusive history. James Loewen, Lies My Teacher Told Me, 92. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for Americans to celebrate Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving, as we take turns around the dinner table sharing why we are thankful, a sense of awkwardness settles in. The awkwardness is not [Read More…]

7 Questions Before C21: Ani Zonneveld

This week as part of our 7 Questions Before C21 (that’s Christianity 21 for those of you who are just tuning in), we’re talking with Ani Zonneveld, singer, speaker, activist and co-founder of Muslims for Progressive Values. Zonneveld is one of the 21 provocative thought-leaders coming to Denver January 9-11, 2014 to share their “big ideas” on the future [Read More…]

New York Times Video and Mimetic Theory Part 1: The Contagion of Yawning and the Social Glue

It just so happens that middle schoolers and the New York Times are asking the same question: “Why is yawning contagious?” Unfortunately, the New York Times doesn’t answer the question in their video. The closest it gets to an answer is to say, “Scientists see this yawning as part of the social glue that holds [Read More…]

7 Questions Before C21: Jonathan Merritt

In just two months, 21 provocative religion thought-leaders will convene in Denver to share their “big ideas” on the future of Christianity as part of the unique Christianity 21 conference. (Special Patheos reader $50 discount here.) To give you a taste of who’s coming to speak, we’ve invited several of the presenters to respond to seven questions about [Read More…]

Christian Reflection on the First Thanksgiving with Historian Tracy McKenzie

Thanksgiving is here! Bring on the turkey and the culture wars, then spend black Friday with a bad case of indigestion. Americans are as preoccupied with sweet potato controversies – with or without marshmallows – as we are with arguing over what kind of country those reforming Pilgrims wanted to jump start. Were they hoping [Read More…]

Religious Freedom and Religious Privilege: a musing on the difference

    The Supreme Court of the US is now considering a case from Greece, NY, in which the town board started its meetings with sectarian Christian prayers. Lower courts disallowed them as violations of the clause in the Constitution banning the state from “establishment” of religion.  As I described in a recent “musing”, the [Read More…]

Dieting to Extremes: Anorexia, Mimetic Desire and the Death of Isabelle Caro

Are you on a diet now? Are you starting one tomorrow? Dieting is a preoccupation for most of us, the result of living in a land in which we are bombarded with two competing messages: advertisements of often irresistible foodstuffs and media idols celebrated for their svelte figures. Some of us manage to lose some [Read More…]

7 Questions Before C21: Phyllis Tickle

In just two months, 21 provocative religion thought-leaders will gather in Denver, CO to share their “big ideas” on the future of Christianity as part of the unique conference Christianity 21 (C21). The speakers are diverse: pastors (Nadia Bolz-Weber, Kent Dobson); authors (Tony Jones, Enuma Okoro, Bruce Reyes-Chow); CEOs (David Lee, Noel Castellanos); POTUS spiritual advisors [Read More…]

7 Questions Before C21: Sarah Cunningham

A few weeks ago, I posted about the upcoming Christianity 21 conference here in Denver, January 9-11. With so many great speakers lined up – including Spiritual Advisor to the POTUS, Joshua DuBois – C21 is shaping up to be a conference you don’t want to miss. (And today’s the last day to catch the Early [Read More…]

Hellbound? on Halloween: A Live Chat with Director Kevin Miller about Mimetic Theory and Hell

Who would you like to see bound to Hell to suffer eternal conscious torment? Okay, it’s a petty question, but we’ve all thought about our enemies suffering eternally in hell. There’s a particular, albeit vulgar, satisfaction in imagining certain people who have wronged us suffering the horrors of hell. Something in us yearns for justice [Read More…]

Clean Up After Your God

Religions, like puppy owners, often don’t do a good job of scooping up the messes they leave behind. But that’s not a compelling enough reason to give up on either your God or your dog. This is my conclusion after participating in some fascinating conversations in the past week. Last Friday, our Office of Religious [Read More…]