¡Si, se puede! The Feathered Snake Comes to Bring Spring

temple of warriors

By Mandy Gardner. Southern Mexico, 21 March 2015, 5:17pmThe sky was peppered with clouds, some quite dark and ominous. More worrying than the rain was the concern that Kukulkan would not appear to bring in the new season, but still the people came in droves. Hopeful, they clapped and cheered each time the sun's rays penetrated the clouds, as if their encouragement could coax the shy God from his hiding place. Abandoned for hundreds of years, the old city and its towering limestone spiritual … [Read more...]

The Mar Thoma Church: Gender Equality in the Sacred Space

Anitha along with the bishop and clergy

By Jesudas M. Athyal. This article discusses the wider implications of a major milestone in women’s participation in the Mar Thoma Church (MTC). The denomination is part of the ancient Indian Church that traces its origin to the missionary work of Saint Thomas in south India during the first century AD. Today hundreds of congregations of MTC exist in the diaspora all over the world.  The Church, while accepting at the theological level the full participation of women in all realms, has so far … [Read more...]

Jainism and Sikhism: The Value of Being “Footnote” Traditions

By Brianne Donaldson.In the recently published Norton Anthology of World Religions, there were two notable omissions: the ancient nonviolent Indian tradition of Jainism, and the modern Indian tradition of Sikhism. I noticed the absence (1) because they are two traditions that I study, teach, and write about, and (2) because they are often overshadowed by their subcontinent cousins of Hinduism and Buddhism whose adherents are greater in number, more widely dispersed, and hence, have a more … [Read more...]

Lecrae: A Modern-Day Psalmist Voices the Messiness of Humanity Through Hip-Hop


By Claudia May In the world of Christian hip-hop Lecrae, is a pioneer and a visionary and could even be considered to be the godfather of Christian rap. He has recorded seven highly acclaimed albums and two mixtapes. The recipient of a Grammy, Dove, and Stellar award, he is the co-founder and president of Reach Records, an independent record label dedicated to the creation of quality Christian rap. In October 2014, I had the privilege of meeting Lecrae and interviewing him as he continued … [Read more...]

A Barrage of Bombing in Nuba Mountains: What Is a Parent to Do?

Make Way Partners staff members stand in bomb crater - Nuba - Copy

By Kimberly L. Smith. Most of the time, when I worry, it’s about things that “might” happen. What choices will my children make? What if the economy tanks, permanently? What if I die, and do not have enough life insurance for my husband to stay in our home and keep our family afloat? What if scientists are right and a large part of our country slips into the sea (or is blown off the map)? Because of the color of my skin, the language that I speak and the gold seal emblazoned on my blue passpo … [Read more...]

American Buddhism Needs to Get Real


By Ty Phillips.In 2014, Lama Surya Das called for the need to have a solidified American Buddhism; I agree. What I worry about is that this voice will be gentrified. It will be a voice on how to sell the dharma. It will be a monastic caste that is unfamiliar to the American psyche. In order for there to be a useful American Buddhism, it must start from the home. As we all know, historically, Buddhism was a monastic practice. It was a model for what the Buddha thought needed to happen in … [Read more...]

Orthodox Christian Concerns: A Lament for Our Millennial Daughters

By Jennifer Nahas.What is best about the Orthodox Church—holding true to early teachings and traditions—also presents its greatest challenge: making sure tradition doesn’t trump appropriate treatment of others. While many prize the richness of the Orthodox Church, our traditions can lead to exclusion of some from fully participating in the community of Christ.  It’s a fine line, preserving ancient rites without marginalizing particular groups, within a patriarchal structure, and is ripe for d … [Read more...]

Sikhs in the Rose Parade


By Simran Jeet Singh.New Year’s Day will mark a new era for a marginalized group of Americans. On January 1, 2015, American Sikhs will host their first-ever float in the Rose Parade.The first Sikh pioneers came to North America by way of the west coast in the late 1800s, and of the nearly one million Sikhs who have settled in North America, an estimated 250,000 reside in the state of California.The presence of a Sikh float in our nation’s largest New Year’s Day Parade is long overdu … [Read more...]

Diwali: Hearing Earth’s Cry

Diwali - Paul Carvill

By Anantanand Rambachan. On the occasion of Diwali 2014, I want to share a reflection on one of the central narratives associated, in the Hindu tradition, with this festival. This is the narrative that connects Diwali with the celebration and rejoicing over the return of Rama to his home, after a lengthy exile, and his defeat of the oppressive and tyrannical, Ravana. Citizens welcomed him by lighting thousands of lamps, even as over one billion Hindus do today throughout the world. The story … [Read more...]

“Real” Islam and the Secular State

By Mark E. Gammon. In his address to the nation on Wednesday night, President Obama laid out a strategy for dealing with the Islamic State (ISIS, or, alternatively, ISIL) that was predicated on two basic propositions. As many Twitter users put it succinctly: “The Islamic State is neither Islamic nor a state.” Both of these assumptions are open to debate, but for those with more than a passing interest in religious ethics, the first deserves special scrutiny. The president of course was echoing … [Read more...]