By Catharine and Melissa Richmond.   A lot has been written about Mormon voters distaste for Donald Trump. What began as an initial discomfort, following Trump’s suggestion that Muslims should be banned from the country, ended with firm opposition when a tape was released on which Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women. Most pundits are now predicting that Mormon voters will flock to third party candidates, like Gary Johnson and fellow Mormon Evan McMullin. But, why won’t Mormon women become… Read more

By Shalom Goldman. A year ago, as U.S citizens of both political parties were developing a fascination with Donald Trump, no pundits came forth with a mythic or religious way to understand Trump’s appeal or his ability to strongly repel those not attracted to him.  As I teach college courses on the intersection of religion and politics, I was hoping that someone quicker and wiser than I am would come forward to situate the Donald in the world of archetypes,… Read more

  By Anantanand Rambachan. Diwali is the Hindu festival of light, and we pray each year to be led from untruth to truth (asato mā sad gamaya), from darkness to light (tamaso mā jyotir gamaya), and from the transient to that which has ultimate value (mṛtyor mā amṛtaṃ gamaya). The truth that we pray for on Diwali is the truth of goodness and righteousness. It is truth that challenges us to search into our minds, hearts and traditions for the… Read more

By Shalom Goldman.   In the current presidential campaign, Republicans and Democrats seem to be competing with each other to proclaim their “pro-Israel” stances. In a March address to AIPAC Hillary Clinton said, “I feel so strongly that America can’t ever be neutral when it comes to Israel’s security or survival.” Clinton was not introducing a new idea into the presidential campaign; “pro-Israel” statements are a necessary part of many, if not most, political campaigns in the U.S. And these… Read more

By Skyler Oberst and Benjamin Marcus.     Skyler Oberst and Benjamin Marcus recently completed the 2015-2016 Germanacos Fellowship. Skyler created a “Meet the Neighbor” video series in Spokane, WA to teach members of his community how to visit local houses of worship and create a safe space to have a meaningful interfaith encounter. Ben collaborated with public school teachers in the suburbs of Chicago, IL to create lesson plans about religion for teachers in history, social studies, and literature… Read more

By Susan Barnett, FaithSource/Auburn Seminary.   Unprecedented Unity Eighteen diverse leaders for the 21st century bring organizing faith (not organizational faith) to the public square, to take on today’s most pressing issues. From best-selling authors to MLK’s pulpit and the streets of Moral Monday to the Nuns on the Bus, they are making history by living, teaching and preaching respect over division to millions of Americans. They carve new paths as the first openly gay bishop in the high church traditions of Christianity,… Read more

By Shalom Goldman, Middlebury College.   The Republican Party platform, posted last week, gives the American-Israeli relationship considerable space. Pundits in the U.S. and Israel have duly noted the absence in the platform of any reference to a “two-state solution”—a phrase that appeared in the 2012 Republican platform but has now become identified with the Democratic Party and the State Department tenures of Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. Republicans are by inference rejecting the elusive “two-state solution,” though both the… Read more

By Christopher Pieper, Ph.D. and Nathaniel Dietrick, Baylor University   Understanding conflict as an attempt to fill an existential vacuum allows us see that these various battles fundamentally are not about what they seem to be about. They are engaged in not to defeat the enemy or resolve the conflict. Indeed, most of these battles are chosen precisely because the enemy can never be defeated. Battle itself is the objective. Therefore, to a large degree, any enemy will suffice. It… Read more

By Rev. Dr. Joel C. Hunter.     Food and faith go way back: The pretzel is supposed to remind one of a child kneeling in prayer, invented by French monks around 610 A.D. The extreme length of the average rice noodle represents longevity, particularly important to those of the Taoist tradition. Ancient kitchens had to quickly get rid of their ingredients the day before Lent, which led to the experiment that became the pancake. Matzo is unleavened bread, meant… Read more

By Nero Calatrava. Ever since the authors of the Bible portrayed Baal as a wicked god, to whom worshippers would sacrifice their first-born sons, Baal has had an image problem. It was not always thus. For hundreds of years before the Bible demonized him, Baal was worshipped by the Canaanites as a fertility god, the bringer of rain, the prince of peace, the defender of the people. Around 1200 BCE, terrifying bands of warriors came from over the Mediterranean and… Read more

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