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 is not … [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 o … [Read more...]

Hospital Chaplaincy, an Interfaith Challenge

Hospital chaplaincy is an often misunderstood vocation. Many unfamiliar with the work of the hospital chaplain equate it with ministry, but that is not what it is at all. Ministers seek to bring a specific message to those with whom they work. Hospital chaplains lay aside their personal beliefs at the door to the patient’s room and seek instead to immerse themselves in the spiritual worldview of the patient or the patient’s family.At Huntsville Hospital where I am working we have one per … [Read more...]

Does your Religion Make You Happy?

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So, I've been on a writing hiatus for a little while because of all of my children, my Master's thesis has been the most difficult. It has taken six years to be born and while I would like for it to have sprung fully formed from my head, the process has been more like Leto in perpetual labor. Without my dear friends and relations cheering me on, there is no way I would be able to finish. I just have to give it one final push and my little contribution to science will have been born. I'll let you … [Read more...]

Seeking the Mystery: An Excellent Interfaith Resource

Cover of Seeking the Mystrey: An Introduction to Pagan Theologies

As I mentioned before, I had the opportunity to work with other religious leaders at a workshop in Connecticut in June.  At that workshop, I had the chance and the honor to represent Paganism, as best as any individual can, not only in casual conversations but also in giving a presentation to attendees relating to what our religious community is all about.I'd given this sort of talk before.  We might be more numerous than we were in the past, and our varied interests in interfaith work tend t … [Read more...]

Patriotism

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Pretty soon, we'll be coming up upon Panathenaia. It falls sort of nearish the 4th of July and I try to make it up to Nashville at least once a year around this time to visit the Parthenon. Last year, the eldest and I had a very nice picnic in Centennial Park after praying and knitting inside. This year, I will pray to her for guidance for my federal, state, and local governments in the hopes that she can lead them to wise decisions. This prayer to her isn't limited to once a year, of course. … [Read more...]

Religious Leadership Diversity Workshop at Hartford Seminary: a Review

David Dashifen Kees and two other participants at the religious leadership diversity workshop 2013

As I mentioned briefly in my prior post, I spent the week of June 8 through June 14 at Hartford Seminary attending the Religious Leadership Diversity Workshop.  The workshop has been running for a few years, and the seminary works to bring together people of various faiths to try and create an experience for attendees that both allows for the sharing of personal stories and points of view and helps to educate them on various faiths and faith practices as well as multifaith chaplaincy, conflict … [Read more...]

And All God’s Children Said “Waheguru”

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The Sikh Religious Society of South Carolina held the opening and dedication for their new gurdwara building on June 16. It was a lovely affair marked by the beginning of sung prayers (kirtan) on Friday at noon, and lasting until sometime on Sunday. (I’m in awe of those musicians!) The new building is beautiful, the colorful saris and scarves to die for, and the langar meal afterwards was delicious, as always. Sikh leaders were most anxious that religious leaders from as many religions as pos … [Read more...]


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