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...]

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...]

“And a Merry Christmas to You, Mr. Netanyahu!”

By Shalom Goldman, Duke UniversityAmerican Jews have long struggled with the Christmas Season. It may not be our holiday, many Jews have felt, but it is after all a great American holiday. How then are we to relate to it?For more traditional Jews, the national Christmas celebration generates anxiety about their place in the American religious landscape. In the second half of the 20th century, as Jews became more assimilated to American society, that anxiety was reduced in two ways: by … [Read more...]

“Judaism” or “Jewishness”?

By Shalom Goldman, Duke UniversityEarlier this month the pop star Madonna, accompanied by her ex-husband film director Guy Ritchie, celebrated her son Rocco's Bar Mitzvah at the Kabbalah center in NYC.That neither parent, nor their 13-year-old son, was Jewish, didn't disturb the celebrity journalists and paparazzi who covered the story, and the fact was not made much of in US Weekly, the celebrity magazine that broke the story. Within Israel, where Madonna is a frequent visitor, the Bar M … [Read more...]