Travelling Together

This past weekend, the Wild Hunt ran a column entitled Institutions vs. Counterculture in Modern Paganism. I highly recommend reading it, it's both thoughtful and thought provoking.  But, in summary, it explores the tension in our community between the wild and the mystical and the more staid and sedate.  Some in the comments, myself included, proposed possible resolutions or middle grounds.  John Becket, another author here on the Patheos Pagan Channel, shared some of his thoughts in his … [Read more...]

Winter Holidays, Interfaith Memories

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My childhood memories of the Winter holidays are a combination of Chanukah and Christmas.  My father's family is Jewish while my mother's is Christian, and despite the fact that my mother converted to Judaism prior to my birth, we still celebrated Christmas -- at least secular, family-based, gift-giving side of the holiday -- with her side of the family. Christmas Memories I have two pretty distinct memories of Christmas as a child.  One year, I was so excited I leaped into bed at my … [Read more...]

The More Beautiful World

cover image from the book depicting trees under a cloudy dawn sky

The book club here at Patheos provided me the opportunity to read and review a book entitled The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible and I leaped at the opportunity to check out a text published in North Atlantic Book's Sacred Activism series. Having read it, I found it to be more than a simple collection of words and pages; it's a disruptive phenomenon.  And, like all disruptions, it takes time to fully understand them and their ramifications.  Over the last few days as I … [Read more...]

Halloween: an Interfaith Teachable Moment

By Man vyi (Own work (own photo)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

During my education classes, we talked a lot about "teachable moments," times during which the teaching of a topic becomes easier or essential.  October is, in my mind, perfectly suited as an interfaith teachable moment for Pagans. Jason Mankey, over at Raise the Horns, offered his own reflections on Halloween and challenged other bloggers here at Patheos to share theirs.  For Pagans, the month of October has often been a moment where we take a deep breath and prepare to see members of our … [Read more...]

On Disagreements and Discrimination

Streets signs at the intersection between Church St. and State St.

[Author’s Note: This post deals with currently controversial intersections between religion and politics.  I share it with you all not to create disagreement or strife, but because I think it’s important to cogently work through these situations together and because I think they’re illustrative of a deeper issue within the American public square.] In interfaith, it’s all too easy to see another’s point of view during a conversation.  I don’t have to agree with a dialog partner, … [Read more...]

Interfaith God Parenting

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This is a late addition to the Patheos Symposium regarding Passing on the Faith.  In this symposium, authors from across multiple channels were asked to offer their perspective on educating children in matters of faith. I've never seen myself as good parenting material.  Many disagree with me, but I know that I much prefer kids in small doses.  Especially when they can go home to someone else's home at the end of the day.  My wife and I have struggled with this because she greatly desires … [Read more...]

What do Gerald Gardner and Mary Baker Eddy have in common?

Not Gerald Gardner (note lack of beard)
Some upstart priestess blogger I found wandering about

This month, Women of Faith discussed our perspectives on women in the workplace as it relates to our religious paths. Our discussion primarily boiled down to a woman's choice to work outside the home or to stay at home and by and large, we agreed that a woman has the right to choose her occupation. We have a bit of a sampling bias, all of us being strong-willed women, so this came as no surprise. Methodist Cindy and UU Jill told us about their respective organizations' statements on fair labor … [Read more...]

The Global Public Square

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The Global Public Square: Religious Freedom and the Making of a World Safe for Diversity (paperback, kindle) is a book that starts and ends on high notes, but there are some dissonant chords in the middle.  When I first heard that this book was going to be available as an option within our book club here at Patheos, I wondered how an idea that seems so obvious to me could necessitate 212 pages to cover.  And, unfortunately, after reading the book, I think the answer is:  it doesn't. The … [Read more...]

On Common Ground is Powerful New Resource

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The Pluralism Project of Harvard University has released On Common Ground, a comprehensive online resource, this permutation replacing the former published book versions. Here you will find a world of information on religions, the religious landscape of America, essays on interfaith topics. I found the Essays section quite interesting, addressing some real-life issues that many of us have faced (or will, in time). “From Diversity to Pluralism” - about why diversity in our communities … [Read more...]

One Year Later

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My personal and professional life have been keeping me pretty much disconnected from my usual routines, and to be honest, I didn't know what I wanted to write about today until I noticed the date:  August 5th. One year ago today, a gunman opened fire in a Sikh gurdwara killing six worshipers and then himself. I can honestly say that I cannot even begin to understand that experience.  When I was practicing Judaism, there were occasions where our synagogue was vandalized with swastika or … [Read more...]