In 1907, a physician name Duncan MacDougall from Haverhill, Massachusetts, set out to not only prove the existence of the human soul, but that it had a physical presence and substance, much like the heart and lungs, flesh, bone and blood. With the use of a large scale he recorded the weight of terminally ill patients at the moment of death, and discerned a drop of ¾ of an ounce. He deduced the fleeting soul not only existed, but left the body for who knows where, weighing a mere 21 grams.
The human heart has always longed to believe little ‘ol me is made up of something more than the dust of the earth, to which all mortal flesh returns. It has been part of the stuff of religious thinking since the beginning of human thought. For all its persuasive power to drive human beings to believe what cannot be known, and behave in the most radically extreme ways sometimes, the promise of an afterlife and immortality often remains void of much critical examination.
This commentary build on the earlier article, “Moving Heaven and Hell,” which can be found in the Center’s Library.
A god who favors me and people who are like me is just too small.read more
Gandhi teaches us an important lesson about what to pray for.read more
Whatever form prayer takes for us, we are in need of its medication.read more
The term “resurrection” has come to stand for what Christianity is all about. But a close look reveals that it should not be understood monolithically, but rather as a pluralistic and diverse phenomenon.read more
Religion is being bombarded from every quarter—by scientists, spiritualists, agnostics, ex-believers, non-believers and even those who had never bothered with it in the first place.read more
Good is God…All the time!
I will say it again, Good is God…All the time!
Did you hear something different?
The world has grown too small and the stakes for mankind have grown too high for any of us to engage our faithas if our understanding of God represents the only way God s presence may be known in the world.read more
If you are the light of the world, do you attract people to yourself or do you illuminate others?read more
A Story Poem for Proper 16, connecting the question, “Who do You Say that I am?” with Romans 12.read more
The Christianized Jesus – the turning of a radical into a conservative shadow of his former self – explains our problem of establishing and celebrating freedom fighters today.read more
In the last two centuries, theologians have been abandoning the view of divine revelation. This move has radically changed, if not actually rendered obsolete, the role once played by confessions and creeds.read more
It seems that Jesus’ body was hardly cold before his revolutionary, counter-cultural teachings were watered down and made safe for a society interested in economic survival in a controlling empire; in conforming, not transforming; in collaboration not covenant.read more
This article explores the way in which beliefs can be reactionary and rigidly define one’s path as opposed to faith-based thinking.read more
This article is a reflective piece about a retreat I led (with a colleague) called “A Time Apart: Creating Sabbaths in Your Life”. It deals with the intersection of art and oases and how we used a painting by Picasso to discover and elicit the rhythms of our lives.read more