#Notinmyname. Hadia Tirmizi, the mother of a student profiled in my book Faith Ed., posted that Twitter hashtag on her Facebook page last week in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris. She is Muslim, lives in Wellesley, a Boston suburb, and knows the backlash that can follow when terrorists are identified as Muslims.
When I was fifteen, I stepped into a warm bath on my church's sanctuary stage. I was a bit of an outsider—the occasionally bullied Chinese-American kid in the white suburb—and I had found a place of belonging at this Chinese immigrant church. I made a joke about how I felt the same way about my new faith as my sixteen-year-old friend felt about her new driver’s license: I had no idea how I ever lived without this. Even my pastor chuckled as he clasped my hands, preparing to dunk me. Then I heard the splash of the warm water, the muffled underwater silence and the burst of cheers as my body broke through the surface. Smiling through currents of water, I saw the congregation beaming back. I had begun my new life in Christ.
Deborah Jian Lee left the evangelical world in her mid-twenties after growing weary of the culture wars. While she remained committed to her faith, she struggled to reconcile the message of the religious right with the gospels, so her faith became a wandering, nameless thing. After returning to the evangelical world as a journalist, she sought out believers who were living out the teachings of Jesus and found a radical tribe of evangelicals thriving at the margins. Racial minorities, women, and queer Christians were carving a new path for evangelicalism—one rooted in social justice. Deborah decided to write a book for the younger version of herself—the one who mistakenly thought that being evangelical and embracing social gospel values were mutually exclusive.
Some Tennessee lawmakers and parents are in a tizzy because they believe seventh-graders are spending too much time learning about Islam as part of social studies. A Tennessee lawmaker leading the charge has spewed an all-too common refrain, saying the state's schools were leaning toward indoctrination because they emphasized learning about Islam more than about Christianity. The lawmaker last week upped the ante and proposed a bill prohibiting Tennessee public school courses from including "religious doctrine" until students are at least in 10th grade. What the lawmaker means by religious doctrine is fuzzy. But she's a part of a statewide movement of parents and groups taking aim at lessons on Islam. A Christian organization joined the fray by submitting a public records request to every school district in the state asking for curriculum that included Islam.
Beacon Press author John J. McNeill died at the age of ninety on September 22, 2015 in Florida after a full and world-shaping life. He leaves literally thousands of survivors, people like myself whose lives were enriched, in some cases even saved, by his courageous and prophetic work as a gay religious pioneer.
When I was in my twenties and thirties, I did not expect to ever want or need a rabbi in my life again. After years of defending my Jewish identity as the child of an interfaith family, I thought I was done with Jewish institutions and clergy. I joined a community created by and for interfaith families, filled with families that spurned religious dogma, labels, and litmus tests. And I was happy.
Q&A with Linda K. Wertheimer Linda K. Wertheimer's book launch at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA, August 18, 2015. Photo credit: Christian Coleman Linda K. Wertheimer had a fabulous book launch at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Massachusetts last...
By Karl Giberson Photo credit: Dave Bullock This blog appeared originally on Huffington Post Religion. The tragic shooting in South Carolina offers another painful reminder of American Christianity's troubled relationship with race and segregation. While it is true that most...
By Nura Maznavi Image by Subcommandante According to family legend, I first fasted—for a day—at the age of four. I have no clear memory of this fast, although I do have the vague recollection of walking into the kitchen while...
By Karl Giberson This blog appeared originally in The Huffington Post. Equating science with atheism is one of the most dangerous byproducts of America's culture wars. This strange polarization portends disaster, as the country divides into factions that cannot find...
Congregations that have long worked on clean-water projects as an obligation to the poor in places like Haiti are now also tackling water sustainability back home—helping their communities use less and pollute less.
“Could anything actually exist in the scientific universe that is worthy of being called God?” Nancy Ellen Abram's answer is yes: there’s a way to think about God that takes away none of its power but all of its impossibilities, based on the new science of “emergence.”
How do you bring "sensual religion" to an online course? S. Brent Plate shares his experience of creating his first MOOC--Massive Open Online Course--based on his book A History of Religion in 5-1/2 Objects.
In an excerpt from AT HOME IN EXILE, Alan Wolfe warns that, although Islamic anti-Semitism can occur, we shouldn't let it derail efforts to coexist.
Caitlin Meyer, senior publicist at Beacon Press, has some book recommendations (and a recipe!) just in time for Chanukah.
According to Susan Katz Miller, author of Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family, there is no single label that fits all interfaith families. And that's a good thing.
As President Obama prepares to again increase the number of troops in Iraq, the lessons in “soul repair” developed by Drs. Rita Nakashima Brock and Gabriella Lettini may be more critical than ever.
Louise Steinman, author of THE CROOKED MIRROR: A Memoir of Polish-Jewish Reconciliation, reflects on the opening of Warsaw's POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and the evolving nature of Jewish remembrance in Poland.
Fifty-five years after the original US publication of Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl’s timeless wisdom has helped generations of readers cope with hardship and overcome adversity.
In an excerpt from his latest book, AT HOME IN EXILE, political scientist and religion scholar Alan Wolfe examines why he prefers "a Judaism that is special but not chosen to one that is chosen but not special."