Our Moral Responsibility to Pay Attention

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Pay attention. I have been teaching for a long time, and I confess that while I am always hoping that my words find a home in astudent’s heart, I never know. As the rabbi Jesus said at the beginning of his teaching, “If you have ears to hear, then hear.” That is as deep a wisdom [Read More...]

When Peacemaking is Unpopular

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Commonwealth is an unusual word in the modern world. Still used in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Massachusetts for the word “state,” it is a way of seeing life together, a political community founded for the common good. I thought of this a while back while listening to an Israeli, a Palestinian and a Jordanian, each one committed [Read More...]

Sonship in Star Wars

Of the Father’s love begotten…. I do love music, and love different kinds of music. But of all the music I know, this Christmas carol is one of those I love best. That it is centuries-old is important to me, as I have consciously chosen to root myself in the deeper, longer story of human [Read More...]

The Way the World’s Supposed to Be

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The way the world’s supposed to be. Is there a world like that? Do we know? How would we? What does it mean? These are the greatest questions of life, and ones that we answer very differently, given our deepest commitments about the meaning of life, our beliefs about God, the human condition, and history. [Read More...]

Scrooge’s Question to Us

“If these shadows remain unaltered by the future….” Of all the scenes in A Christmas Carol, the visit of Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present with the Cratchit family, is perhaps the tenderest. It is, after all, where we hear Tiny Tim say, inimitably, “God bless us, everyone!” So very human, full of hopes and heartaches [Read More...]

Far as the Curse is Found

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All of us have antennae. We watch for things, hoping that what we see and hear is more truthful than not. And when we sense that something is being said that is not quite true, we cringe; we may even cry out in dismay or disgust. I am that way about Christmas. While I love [Read More...]

Justice Cannot Be Just Us

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“At crucial moments of choice, most of the business of choosing is already over.” There are some truths that are true across time, perennially true. Year after year, generation after generation, century after century, civilization after civilization. In a sentence, the Oxford moral philosopher Iris Murdoch captured the heart of our humanness. We see out [Read More...]

The Good Work of the Praxis Labs

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What makes good work good? A lot could be said, and has. But it’s a question I’ve been asking for most of my life— because it matters to all of us, for all of us. In every time in every place, human beings give most of life to labor. What do we do? and why [Read More...]


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