The Social Soul

Yesterday in my Religion and Science class we talked about what is meant by the ‘soul’ and how it relates to other terminology such as ‘mind’ and ‘brain’. One of the students, Andrew Gillen, had some thoughts that were so interesting I just have to write them down and also share them. (That’s the great thing about blogs, of course – you can do both those things at once).We were discussing some excerpts from the book Whatever Happened to the… Read more

Does The Universe Have A Purpose?

The Templeton Foundation has asked a number of scientists this question: “Does The Universe Have A Purpose?” The varied answers they received vary are shared on their web site.(Thanks to millinerd for sharing this on his own blog). Read more

What Would Jesus Read?

In response to a post about Scripture and canon on the Emerging from Babel blog, I suggested we might approach a text like Ecclesiastes in the following way:I suppose one way to approach it is to recognize that Ecclesiastes is both somewhat marginal in the canon, but nonetheless necessary. Faith without any element of doubt easily becomes credulity. Maintaining the tension in some sense seems crucial. I now want to question my line of reasoning there, not because I’m convinced… Read more

What is a mystic?

A mystic is someone who knows what he or she isn’t talking about. Read more

Quote of the Day (Albert Einstein)

“Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth” (Albert Einstein).These words were apparently spoken by Einstein about Gandhi. Can anyone help me find the source of the quotation? Last night we showed the famous Gandhi movie for students taking the South Asian Civilizations course that I and a few other professors teach. I hope to post some thoughts about Gandhi and Jesus sometime soon. Read more

Genesis Rewritten

In the beginning, God spokebut there were no ears to hearnor was there an atmosphere to carry the sound.God said, “let there be light”but there was no eye to behold its brightnessor to discern and distinguish its rainbow colors.Billions of years passed,and now there were people who could see, hear and create,and so they imagined God doing all those things.Some saw the moon, that it was beautiful,and the sun, that it was inexplicably bright,and worshipped them.Later some rolled the forces… Read more

Was Jesus “More Apocalyptic” Than His Mentor?

I don’t post often enough on my current research area, the historical study of Jesus, so I’m glad when a conversation turns my thoughts (and my blogging) in that direction.A recent comment mentioned one of the classic arguments for an ‘apocalyptic’ Jesus – i.e. one that proclaimed the imminent ‘end of the world’. The argument is that it makes little sense to have an apocalyptic John the Baptist, followed by a non-apocalyptic Jesus, followed by an apocalyptic early Church.I’ve started… Read more

Quote of the Day (Jeremy Campbell)

“Newton gave us a God of awesome power, sovereign, absolute. He was Lord of Dominion, ruler supreme. At the same time, he was given specific, somewhat menial tasks to perform, among them making periodic corrections to the motions of the celestial bodies” (Jeremy Campbell, The Many Faces of GOD (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2006) p. xvii).The quote continues: “The Church made the mistake of accepting this role for God. When it became clear that the heavenly bodies… Read more

Number of Non-Religious Supporters of Intelligent Design has risen at least 400%!

The number of supporters of intelligent design who are not religious seems to be rising rapidly. I remember when there didn’t seem to be any. Now there is an organization/blog for such people. ICON-RIDS stands for “International Coalition of Non-Religious ID Scientists & Scholars”.The blog has two contributors. Add that to one person I spoke to on a blog forum once (although it may have been one of the two people already mentioned, let’s assume it wasn’t) and someone mentioned… Read more

Quote of the Day (Jesus)

“To take away a neighbor’s living is to murder him; to deprive an employee of his wage is to shed blood” (Wisdom of Jesus son of Sira, 34: 22).Apologies if anyone assumed from the post’s title that I meant some other person named Jesus. It was a common name, you know… Read more

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