The Dalai Lama Continues to Push Secular Ethics Over Buddhism

by Justin Whitaker for Patheos

Last week the Tibetan spiritual leader offered talks to three groups of students at his residence in Dharamsala, India. The students came from the U.S., Canada, and 25 students from the Tong Len [Tibetan for ‘giving and taking’] charitable trust based in North India.
Rather than pushing traditional Tibetan teachings or verbatim scripture, the Dalai Lama urged students to pursue peace in the coming century. He emphasized the importance of cultivating reason and the basic human capacity for compassion in order to do this.

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The Sanctuary Church Movement in Colorado Springs

ICE (the immigration agency) recognizes churches, hospitals, and schools as sanctuaries, which means they have never invaded those spaces to deport anyone. Of course, schools are only sanctuaries during the day, and hospitals only for brief hospital stays. So, sanctuary churches are important because they can take in those in danger for days, weeks, months, or longer. Most who take sanctuary are at a church for just a few months.

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If There Were To Be A Bible Disclaimer

I am venturing to guess that very few theologically progressive Christians would say that all Bible passages are to be taken literally and viewed strictly as the inerrant and infallible word of God. Some Christians who are already experienced with scripture and those people reading the Bible for the first time may interpret all of what they read as literal concrete fact, ignoring literary nuances related to styles of ancient story telling, metaphor, symbolism, depth of meaning, etc.

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Garden Table Apocalypse | Diana Butler-Bass

  Mike’s note: The following reflection from Diana Butler Bass – an excerpt from her book Grounded: Finding God in the World – is part of a special guest-post series anticipating this November’s Gospel of Peace Conference …

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Resurrection as Change, Part III: Deleting “God”

The idea of “God” has been problematic for as long as the notion existed. As a result, “God” has admittedly been for me a direction; but neither a destination, nor even a companion along the way any longer. As the poet suggests, if the notion of “god” is directional movement from a former past to the present now, then perhaps it is the time to leave the “G” word behind. What does that mean?

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Social Activist, Religious Activist

While young people today are movers and shakers, reformers and influencers, seeking voice and empowerment through protest and organization, our activism is largely restricted to political and social spheres. We will boycott products from a company that exploits labor, hold signs and march in the streets for the rights of immigrants, but we generally do not seek to reform the religious institutions of which we are a part.

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Give the Chinese students their history back!

In memory of the massacre in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989

It is forbidden to mention the massacre in China, and each year fewer yet know what really happened. But all media articles, fliers etc. on ths subject have been collected by the democracy movement in Hong Kong, and can be downloaded for free here. I send you this mail and all the documents, so that you can help in giving the Chinese their story back.

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Cambridge Mayor’s Call to Action

“I want to make Cambridge a proactive city and not a reactive city. I know we can do better and we must do better. If anybody can get it right, Cambridge can. We have the ability. We just need to have the desire.”

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Complex Trauma and Spiritual Healing Power of Sufism

by Daliah Merzaban for Patheos

I’d long presumed the excessive lack of confidence that lurked just beneath the surface was an inherent flaw in me; until, that is, I became aware several months ago that I suffer from a condition known as Complex trauma.

Complex trauma is a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, only rather than resulting from a one-off psychological shock, it arises due to repeated, prolonged exposure to different forms of abuse, usually beginning in childhood. In researching the condition, I’ve learned how common it is. Wounds are often inflicted unwittingly and it’s easy to be oblivious to the toll they’ve taken on our psychological and spiritual health.

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The 10-Day Spiritual Fitness Program

Want a richer spiritual practice?
Need some help getting more gratitude in your life?
Would you trade 20 minutes to get spiritually fit?

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Church, Inside Out: Tabor Space

Most churches invite people to their church programs in their buildings, and with the space and time they don’t use, they rent to outside groups.

The people of Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church in Portland decided to turn that model on its head – and they created a vibrant community in the process.

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The Academy of Holistic Theology & Spirituality

Offering quality progressive, inter-spiritual, and holistic higher education to ministers, para-ministers, church staff, and lay leaders.

  The Academy of Holistic Theology & Spirituality (AHTS) is a progressive, inter-spiritual, and holistic based center for higher learning that works to educate and assist in the development of forward-thinking leaders. Degree programs are designed to assist …

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I’m Falling in Love—with John

John is complicated. He was part of a school whose members were Jewish. By the time we see John in the public arena, the Jesus movement had been expelled from Judaism. The gentiles had taken over, and, most of the time, they read the Gospels as literal truth. They did not, and still don’t, understand the Jewish way of telling their religious history, which is full of metaphors, cultural innuendos, secret sayings, and mysticism.

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Ancient Hospitality: A Lost Religious Practice

Hospitality to strangers was a very big deal throughout the ancient world. I am not sure if any of us in the modern era have any appreciation for just how important it was. There were no hotels, no GPS systems, few restaurants. Being in a tough spot away from home was a life or death situation!

Hospitality was not only a cultural practice, but it also had serious religious significance.

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What Is A Humanist, And What Do They Believe?

By Lauren Gilger for KJZZ

There is a rule in the Arizona House of Representatives that specifies that a prayer must invoke a higher power, one that was clarified last week by the House Majority Leader after Salman read her Humanist prayer.

But many secular and religious groups object to this rule, and they’re speaking out.

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4 strategies for breaking the hold of Sunday worship

Yet another change battle is under way in mainline Protestant churches: breaking the hold that Sunday worship has on staffing, budgeting, and overall priorities.

Below are four strategies for doing what needs to be done.

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New Voices

We must accept the fact that, for many people, the old categories of Catholic/ Protestant, Episcopal/Methodist, high church/low church, contemporary/traditional, etc. just do not matter. There are new voices contributing to the religious scene, although most of them would not like to be referred to as religious. But these voices deserve to be heard. They may have left or never been part of the church, but that does not mean that they do not have a lot to say about spirituality, the meaning of life and how to make a difference in the world.

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Radical Pluralism

I want to return now to process theologian John Cobb, who has written extensively on the subject of pluralism and the avoidance of relativism. Along with Complementary Pluralism (from the previous chapter), he has also written about Creative Transformation or Radical Pluralism. In this view, Christ is the Logos, the primordial nature of the Divine and the principle of creative transformation within all the religions.

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