A Thousand Years from Now

Parthenon-Dusk

I want to start the year off on a positive, forward-looking note and imagine what our work here will produce in the distant future. There's this fantasy that tumbles around in my head from time to time of a world in which Pagan temples of various sorts are common. Because it's my fantasy, the temple takes the shape of one to honor the gods of Ancient Greece and there's a sanctuary with altars and various statues, office space for the priests and priestesses, a daycare, and a small library. We … [Read more...]

What to say when they come to your door

Mormons in the wild (Nicest people you'll ever meet; not a rude missionary among them).

I was struggling with what to write this week, when an interfaith encounter came to my door. The gods work in obvious and unsubtle ways. And, as a side note, I'm a day late and a dollar short in posting this week. I had a thesis defense on Monday, so I hope you will all forgive me for the delay. I'm sure a lot of you have had similar experiences and have likely even devised a method of handling the door to door religion salespeople. I've heard a number of different ways of dealing with … [Read more...]

The World Table

Logo for the World Table

For over a year, I've been working with an organization called the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy (FRD).  I've received some criticism of that effort from both individuals and, in some cases, organizations who have some issues with the fact that the organization embraces evangelism, both simply the idea of persuasion with respect to deeply held beliefs but also the Christian practice of spreading the message of the Gospel, rather than (overtly or covertly) asking members to avoid trying to … [Read more...]

The Linguists’ Principle of Charity

dialogue

I’m still slowly reading my way through Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life. Our city discussion group has held two monthly meetings, but yesterday I was reading Step Eight - How We Should Speak. There it was that I learned of something from the field of linguistics, called the principle of charity. The principle says that when someone says something to us which seems strange, we should pause, assume that they hold some piece of truth which might be useful to us, and … [Read more...]

Evangelism?

Nainposter

Are you still here?  Did those few black letters, put together to form a word with which society associates so much meaning, make you shiver at the mere sight and want to close the page? I know how you feel. However, dear reader, I’m here to tell you that not only did my old attachment to this word--evangelism--get smacked down, it got redefined.  Revised.  Edited, and re-written within the concepts of my brain-waves.  I learned the other day that I too, am an Evangelist.  For the … [Read more...]


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