The Puritan Impulse – Again

Down through history different religious groups have displayed a puritan impulse. When they command the power of the state it becomes deadly. A story I’ve told often is of my first American ancestor, Jacob Hunt. He arrived in Puritan Boston in the 17th century and was quickly expelled for his religious views. The Puritans hadn’t [Read More...]

Shaping Interfaith Leaders

Can we parlay good interfaith relationships into actual political cooperation? It may take more than interfaith work projects. In a recent blog David Bornstein documented, and praised, efforts to unite persons of different religions in mutually agreeable work projects. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/12/a-better-way-to-talk-about-faith/?emc=eta1 This is a timely reminder of the very effective Interfaith Youth Corp that is spreading [Read More...]

Irreconsilable or Incommensurate?

At a recent inter-religious dialogue event a colleague noted how quickly, in the question and answer period, Christians moved the focus from the topic of the dialogue to the question of who is “saved” and how. Only diplomacy on the part of all the leaders kept the conversation from breaking up. Back in the day [Read More...]

Dual Citizenship and Divided Loyalties? No!

I the last blog I talked about dual citizenship in a nation and in a transnational religion. Sometimes this is quite concrete. All Jews are by right citizens of Israel. The Chinese government still grants citizenship rights to ethnic Chinese, as does the German government to ethnic Germans for that matter. In other cases dual [Read More...]

Dual Citizenship and Divided Loyalties?

Were you aware that officially the United States does not allow its citizens to be citizens of any other country? When my wife became a US citizen four years ago one of the things she had to do was to renounce her Malaysian citizenship. Why? The US, and many other nations (but not all) resist [Read More...]

Endowed by Their Creator?

In recent public appearances Mitt Romney has been reminding his audiences that “our founding fathers said that our Creator has endowed us with rights. Not the government, but our creator.” His reference is to the US Declaration of Independence that states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that [Read More...]

Fighting for Religious Identity in a Pluralist World

Although it is in and out of the mainstream media, the problem faced by Muslims in Murfreesboro Tennessee goes on and on. Their effort to build an Islamic center faces continued protests as citizens try to “protect” their city from the deleterious influences of a “foreign” religion. Various anti-Shari’a law bills wending their way through [Read More...]

One God, Many Paths?

After a long hiatus in which I traveled to Europe, the Middle East, and Nepal I wanted to inaugurate this new blog format with a blog from last year. In every country I visited I found that the classical forms of inter-religious dialogue, dialogue centered around the search to understand and respect the religious beliefs [Read More...]

Muslim and American – from the Fiqh Council of North America

The Fiqh Council of North America, which is the closest thing the Muslim Community in North America has to a body that speaks on on behalf of all Muslims, has issued the following statement. The meaning is clear. For the original go to: http://www.fiqhcouncil.org/ The demand for this didn’t come from American Muslims, who have [Read More...]

Analysts, Religion, and Ideologues

Ideologies create fruitless conflict, and can finally destroy rather than preserve the very things they claim to value. [Read more...]


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