From Isolation to New Family

Editor’s Note: My Patheos Colleague, Catherine Dunphy, celebrates her first face-to-face meeting with her Clergy Project family member, Jerry Dewitt. I knew them before they knew each other, having interviewed them for the Dennett-LaScola study. Catherine contacted me directly after seeing our study and Jerry contacted me after hearing about the study and the newly [Read More…]

Back to the Future

Editor’s Note: “Brian,” the seminary student who wasn’t, sends an instructive and reassuring letter to his younger self about his life course. The message: Life is complex and trusting your gut is better than cursing and dismissing your doubts.                             ========================== Editor’s Note 11/27/14 This post has been updated using the writer’s original words, as [Read More…]

No Such Thing as “Spiritual”

Editor’s Note: This essay, by John Compere, an early member of The Clergy Project, is derived from a chapter in his 2010 book, Towards The Light: A Fifth-Generation Baptist Minister’s Journey from Religion to Reason. It is also very timely given the recent release of Sam Harris’ book Waking up: A Guide to Spirituality without [Read More…]

Identifying as Atheists — When Will We Grow Up?

Editor’s Note: Clergy Project member John Lombard expresses his personal views on the“Atheist Movement.” It’s a relatively new term and a subject of hot debate within “the Movement.” ========================= By John Lombard One of the more interesting discussions in the private Clergy Project forums recently has been over the issue of identifying as an atheist; [Read More…]

So How Does It Feel Not To Wear a Kippah?

Editor’s Note: Former Rabbi Levin reflects on his life as an observant Jew via his experiences with and without a “Kippah.”   We hope to hear more from him as he continues to adapt to secular life.  He left his congregation earlier this summer. ========================== A kippah is a head covering worn by Orthodox Jewish males [Read More…]

Presbyterians: Please Confront Reality and Embrace Evolutionary Science

Editor’s Note:  After writing about Rev. John Shuck’s efforts regarding Evolution Sunday last week, I invited him to speak for himself – and he did!  Please read what he has to say.  I think he’s the future of the liberal church –if the church has a future. ================================  I am a minister in the Presbyterian [Read More…]

Practicing Secular Chaplaincy – Naturally

Editor’s Note: Chris Highland, like several other Clergy Project members, has made a career transition that allows him to keep the valuable, natural elements of his ministerial training while jettisoning the supernatural.  By Chris Highland  When I left my ordination after 14 years in the Presbyterian church in the fall of 2001, my silent and [Read More…]

True Stories from Divinity School, Part I

Editor’s Note: John Figdor’s original reason for attending divinity school was to learn theology so he could effectively debate Christian apologists. Instead, he went a new pastoral route, becoming a humanist Chaplain.  The following essay is the last in the “student” series and the first in an occasional series about the academic study of religion. [Read More…]