April 22, 2014

SOULJOURN: The Book and the Journey Pop Prophets and Religious Pluralism A review by Jim Burklo of NATURAL MYSTICS: The Prophetic Lives of Bob Marley and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan by Varun Soni (Figueroa Press: 2014) Waves of wailing falsetto lifted Rama’s holy name above the reedy voice of the harmonium and the steady beat of hands clapping and palms sliding on the tabla.  “Sanson Ki Mala Pe” sounded like the very stereotype of Indian spiritual music, to ears untrained... Read more

March 14, 2014

Pluralistic Marriage: A review by Jim Burklo of “Saffron Cross” by J. Dana Trent (Fresh Air Books, 2013) As a Christian pastor, I’ve officiated at hundreds of weddings – many between people of different faiths. Many of them started out their relationships without concerning themselves too much about their religious differences. It’s only as marriage becomes imminent that one or the other of the pair wakes up to the fact that this difference might matter. The groom marrying a Christian... Read more

December 13, 2013

SOULJOURN: the new novel of interfaith encounter — Order the Patheos paperback here   A Spanish pilgrim in rough clothes rode on a mule toward Rome and Jerusalem in the year 1522.   Ignatius of Loyola was his name.  He was “to the manor born” but rejected his wealth and status to pursue spiritual enlightenment.  Later he would become the founder of the Jesuit order of Catholic priests.  Along the way he met a Moor – perhaps a man of North... Read more

November 1, 2013

Order the paperback here (This passage from SOULJOURN owes a nod to Prof. Paul Laughlin of the religion department at Otterbein College in Ohio, who came up with the idea that God’s name is “awe” or “ahh”, since so many divine names end in that syllable….) The allure of being up in the woods with a bunch of girls from Phoenix stayed with me that week. Besides, this was a religion I hadn’t tried yet. So I asked Dad if... Read more

October 25, 2013

SOULJOURN: the book and the journey of interfaith exploration I believe that the best way to preserve religious freedom and diversity in America is to make sure no particular religious sect dominates the society or gets preferred status from the government.  What do you think? The freedom to practice religion, with neither the interference nor the endorsement of the government, is sacred to Americans. It’s explicitly protected in our Constitution. And it’s largely the reason that religion flourishes here much... Read more

October 4, 2013

SOULJOURN:  The novel and the journey of interfaith exploration…. I offer here a categorization and listing of ways that people think about God, across the boundaries of world religions.  It’s far from complete.  Some categories overlap with each other.   I offer this list in order to stimulate my own thinking, and hopefully yours, about the tremendous variety of ways that people have tried to define or begin to comprehend Ultimate Reality. (Special thanks go to Roger Christian Schriner for his... Read more

September 25, 2013

SOULJOURN:  The book and the journey…. explore it here (This is from a talk I gave at a conference at the University of Southern California held by the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy. FRD was started by Mormons seeking deeper mutual understanding with people of other faiths.  FRD offers a helpful model for respectful dialogue among people of different religious traditions about the hard questions related to their faiths.) A few days ago I met with a group of 25 students... Read more

September 16, 2013

SOULJOURN:  The book and the journey…. explore it here   TRY-ALLS AND TREPIDATIONS: THE ETIQUETTE OF SOULJOURNING On the past two weekends, I’ve gone a-souljourning to a Sikh gurdwara and an Islamic masjid (mosque).  As a Christian, I have a lot to learn from these faiths.  That’s still true after having souljourned to both sites on many previous occasions and spent a lot of time with Sikh and Muslim people.  Both of these souljourns reminded me that uncertainty about etiquette... Read more

August 21, 2013

  Eboo Patel, Founder and President, Interfaith Youth Core, on SOULJOURN, the new novel from Patheos Press:  “The spiritual journey is at the heart of what it means to be human and America, with its stunningly diverse devotions, may the perfect place to undertake such a quest. Reverend Jim Burklo, someone who has gone through his own ‘souljourn’ and facilitated the journeys of many others, has written a wonderful guide to the cosmic, both without and within. This book will... Read more

August 21, 2013

  To become a “certified SOULJOURNER”, visit 5 houses of worship/prayer of religious or spiritual traditions other than your own.  Report on the places and dates of your visits, and your experiences at these religious communities, in at least a paragraph per site.  Also, in at least two paragraphs per question, respond to any 5 of the SOULJOURN “Study Guide” questions.  Post all these reports and responses as one “comment” on the COMMENTS section of this blog, and you will... Read more

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