The Panama Papers and the Ritual of Confession

By Devin Singh. The Panama Papers caught some of the most powerful people on the globe in the act of self-dealing. Now the public wants the guilty to come clean, step into the light, and confess their financial misdeeds.While such confession might be an important public ritual, there are reasons to believe that confession won't make the sins disappear and they'll likely happen again.In the early 20th century, the German social theorist Walter Benjamin described capitalism a … [Read more...]

60th Anniversary of the Red Sea Parting

By Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz and Susan Barnett.This year marks the 60th anniversary of one of the most iconic scenes in film history. In the 1956 Academy Award-winning film, The Ten Commandments, the young Charlton Heston parts the Red Sea and the Israelites make their heroic escape from ancient Egypt. During the modern Passover celebration of this Exodus, when the Jews reached the safety of the far shore and the Egyptian armies were drowning in the sea, the rabbinic tradition teaches, … [Read more...]

Has Science Made God Irrelevant?

By Thomas M. Doran. I once read a science fiction story about a galaxy-roving human race that had run its ancient God to ground in a garden on an abandoned planet Earth. Rather than supplanting God in wisdom and power, these men came off as aping the serpent in the ancient story: “We have outgrown you. We want to be liberated from you. We want to be like you, but on our terms.”In much of the ancient and medieval worlds, the Creator was thought to be a grand clockmaker. The Su … [Read more...]

The Palmarian Church: New Rome or Fanatical Sect?

By Maria Hall. On a hilltop on the plains of Andalucía in Southern Spain, the huge gothic basilica of Palmar de Troya stands forever alone – a symbol of yet another sect which had distanced itself from mainstream Catholicism. An imposing wall surrounds the basilica, reminding the world of its isolation, not only religious but actual. Carmelite priests and nuns live in silence within the walls, cut off from the world, yet dedicated to praying for its conversion. No one associated … [Read more...]

Why I Got Arrested at the U.S. Capitol

By Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II.I was arrested today in Washington, DC, for insisting that the Federal government defend the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and protect Americans’ voting rights.As a pastor, a leader of the Forward Together Moral Movement, and state chapter President of the North Carolina NAACP, I do not take arrest lightly. Anytime we see a problem, our first response must be to understand it. Nothing is worse than being loud and wrong. After doing our h … [Read more...]

Trump, Nietzsche, and the Jewish Tradition

By Rabbi Francis Nataf. An American acquaintance recently told me that there is only one question every Israeli was asking him on his last visit—what’s with America and Trump? Like him or not, Donald Trump has captured the world’s imagination in a way very few have done before. Almost consciously setting himself up as a buffoon and a ruffian, he has nonetheless become a very serious contender for the world’s most powerful office.In response, an army of pundits has struggled t … [Read more...]

A Pastor, a Rabbi, and an Imam

Stop me if you’ve heard this one – a priest, a rabbi and an Imam walk into a diner… and have a fun, light-hearted, and sometimes irreverent conversation about the big spiritual questions at the heart of the National Geographic Channel’s “Story of God with Morgan Freeman.”  Rabbi Deborah Shuldenfrei, Pastor Touré Roberts, and Imam Jihad Turk tackle topics such as creation, the end of the world, and what awaits us after this life – each injecting their own style and religious perspective into the d … [Read more...]

Faith-Based Food Traditions and Religious Identities

 By Roberta Rosenthal Kwall. A Catholic chicken farmer in Kansas is making a revolutionary step forward in kosher eating, and not just because of what he brings to the dinner table. The Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch will be shipping 1,500 of its chickens in May to a rabbinically-supervised slaughterhouse in upstate New York, making kosher heritage poultry available for commercial sale for the first time since the advent of factory farming. The proprietor of the Good Shepherd ranch, … [Read more...]

Why It’s Possible to Reject the Klan and Still Support Racism

By Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II and Jonathan Wilson-HartgroveIf Donald Trump is telling the truth, he only recently learned that David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, is an avowed segregationist. Apparently, the KKK and its history have faded from many white Americans’ memory. Jeffrey Lord argued on national television this week that the Klan is an invention of “the left.” As native sons of the South, we could forgive these men their ignorance. (“Bless their hearts. They … [Read more...]

“Covenant and Controversy”: Examining the Christian Roots of Anti-Semitism

By Joshua Sharf. Over the last 50 years, the success of Israel, America’s movement toward a more open society, and a desire for a closer relationship between Christians and Jews, have led American Christians to begin to confront the Christian roots of anti-Semitism in a serious way.The reorientation really began in late 1965, with Pope John XXIII’s Nostra Aetate, where he disavowed Jewish responsibility for the crucifixion and acknowledged the continuance of God’s covenant wi … [Read more...]


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