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Arbitrarily Close to God

I like to think that my job at our Office of Religious Life at the University of Southern California is to facilitate the experience of goosebumps, when students discover how all things fit together into the Holy Whole. Sometimes, of course, religion itself gets in the way of this experience. Denial of science and common sense by dogmatic theology is a sure way to dull the kind of glow that illuminated Nicolas of Cusa’s face in 1464, and prevent the kind of tingle that went up my back in calculus class in 1975. Happily, within religion there are cures to be found for religion’s diseases.

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Common Sense

I think the problem is exactly the opposite of the one Romney suggests. Americans aren’t as dependent on their government as they should be. If Tom Paine’s plan had prevailed in 1797, if the principle of universal income had become integral to the culture of this country from its founding, a whole range of problems we suffer in America today would not
exist.

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A God of Sensations

But there is another way I believe God and spirit may be experienced: kinesthetically. It is primal and pre-rational, our first encounter with something beyond ourselves. It begins in our mother’s womb, immersed in embryonic fluids, nourished and protected by our mother’s flesh. We feel the pulsing of her heart. On a men’s retreat, I heard the Franciscan Richard Rohr speculate that men’s love of drumming may come from that early memory of our mother’s heartbeat.

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Topics: Devotional, Health and Healing, and Jesus Studies. 8 Points: Point 1: Teachings of Jesus and Point 5: Non-Dogmatic Searchers. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Ages: Adult, Teen, and Young Adult. Resource Types: Articles.

What Does Rabbi Gamaliel have To Do with New Testament Interpretation?

So in a round-about way, Gamaliel, as quoted by Luke, is giving us a powerful clue about what kind of literature the Gospels are — a unique mix of a few core historical events with lots of theological overlay, all blended with a good dose of the kinds of stories of miraculous signs that we know were common and sometimes persuasive in that day. And not surprisingly…. They still are today!

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Dear Medical Student…

I hope it will be a long time from now; I am grateful to be occupying this body today. But when you see this body lying before you in your gross anatomy lab, don’t call it mine. It will be for you, and for all the patients you will serve in your career as a doctor. Cut this body open with deep reverence, not for me, but for the living people whose bodies you will work to heal. My experience of eternal life during the process of my death will transcend this body completely.

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“Blessed Are the Job-Creators…”

More enervated than inspired by this year’s campaign season, I thought of writing a parody of Jesus’ Beatitudes (you know, “Blessed are the job creators…”) or maybe collect Jesus’ sayings about the way things are and the way things should be and place them in contemporary U.S. contexts (such as the parable of the laborers in the vineyard whose time cards differed but whose pay was the same)…

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Ayn Rand Was Consistent

Individualism vs Collectivism

I would say that belief in either God or spirituality goes hand in hand with collectivism. Spirituality is about “the whole enchilada.”

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Topics: Devotional and Political Concerns. 8 Points: Point 1: Teachings of Jesus, Point 3: Inclusive Community, and Point 4: Act As We Believe. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Ages: Adult, Teen, and Young Adult. Texts: Matthew. Resource Types: Articles.

Voting With Enthusiasm

“….seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.” (Isaiah 1: 17) Here’s how I translate this biblical urging into the way I will vote in November: 1. The passage of the Affordable Health Care …

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The Challenge of Jesus

With John Dominic Crossan

Dr. Crossan presents his life’s work of exploring the full matrix of Jesus’ own time and place to reveal that historical figure as still-and-ever a challenge for us today.

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The Nicene Creed: Ancient Words in the Light of Modern Faith

The Nicene Creed was both a religious and a political tool, a humanly constructed statement of belief that gave order and meaning to the world of its time. The question this book raises is whether it still gives order and meaning to our world–or rather, what kind of order and meaning does it give to our world.

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Dark Knights — How Spiritual Communities Could Help

The recent horrible shooting incident at a premier showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Colorado has focused attention, once again, on some aspects of what has gone wrong when a person takes such a violent and antisocial turn.

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