Progressing Spirit

An inclusive and pioneering exploration of Theology, Spirituality and Current Events

With thousands of subscribers around the globe, Progressing Spirit is the world’s leading outlet for an intelligent, inclusive, and pioneering exploration of today’s theological, spiritual, and social advancements.

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Christology in the African context

Prof. Dr. Philomena Njeri Mwaura (University of Nairobi) speaks about African theology and christology at the IWM conference on “Christ and the religions” in Frankfurt.

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Theology after Jung

This article discusses the impact of Jung’s theories on teaching students depth psychology and theology in a nondenominational graduate school of religion and a theological seminary.
Contrasting the theological and psychological enterprises, with their concomitant dangers and benefits, the major impact of Jung’s work is the shock, wonder, fear, joy in encountering the psyche as objective, there within and among us, but a reality we do not invent. The implications for teaching and for what happens in the classroom are explored.

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Beyond Belief

Once a religion is distilled into a creed, a book books of doctrine, or even shared holy writ, it becomes a religion of beliefs rooted in the past. A living faith takes in new information and experience and continues to grow and evolve. Ultimately, we are seeking a faith that moves beyond belief and becomes expressed in meaningful action.

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Choosing a Bible

Many of my peers use the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) because it is the updated version of the classic Revised Standard Version (RSV) upon which many of us grew up. Published in 1989, the editors recognized that much misunderstanding had entered into the interpretation of the text because English is inherently biased toward the masculine. In order to mitigate such abuse of the text, all references to humanity are gender-neutral. So it is really one of the better “inclusive language” texts despite it continuing to provide exclusively male language in references to God. At the very least, I would recommend that you not read anything that hasn’t managed to get to a place of gender neutrality with respect to humanity.

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A New New Testament: A Bible for the Twenty-first Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts

There are twenty-seven books in the traditional New Testament, but the earliest Christian communities were far more vibrant than that small number might lead you to think. In fact, many more scriptures were written and just as important as the New Testament in shaping early-Christian communities and beliefs. Over the past century, many of those texts that were lost have been found and translated, yet are still not known to much of the public; they are discussed mainly by scholars or within a context of the now outdated notion of gnostic gospels. In A New New Testament Hal Taussig is changing that. With the help of nineteen important spiritual leaders, he has added ten of the recently discovered texts to the traditional New Testament, leading many churches and spiritual seekers to use this new New Testament for their spiritual and intellectual growth.

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The New Oxford Annotated Bible, With Apocrypha (Fifth Edition)

For over 50 years students, professors, clergy, and general readers have relied on The New Oxford Annotated Bible as an unparalleled authority in Study Bibles. This fifth edition of the Annotated remains the best way to study and understand the Bible at home or in the classroom. This thoroughly revised and substantially updated edition contains the best scholarship informed by recent discoveries and anchored in the solid Study Bible tradition.

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John Shelby Spong Quote from “Unbelievable” (1)

In this final book of his storied career, Spong continues to integrate a rigorous scholarly tradition with the Christian faith and so offers a new approach, one that challenges Christians to explore their beliefs in new and meaningful ways.

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Paul for the People: John Dominic Crossan Imagines a “Letter to the Americans” in His New Video Series

By Peter Laarman for Religion Dispatches

Crossan follows 201o’s “The Challenge of Jesus” with the newly released “The Challenge of Paul,” available free of charge to up to 1,000 congregations, colleges, or seminaries.

Intrigued by the idea of bringing high-end critical pedagogy to the people, I asked Crossan how his passion for biblical studies led him to want to engage with laypeople – and what that experience has been like.

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A Review of John Shelby Spong’s “Unbelievable”

By Zachary Houle

Once in awhile, a book comes along that completely shatters your Christian world view… Unbelievable basically takes all you think you knew about the church and the Bible, and aims to turn everything on its head.

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John Shelby Spong’s final book “Unbelievable”

Why Christianity Is No Longer Believable - And How We Can Change That

Five hundred years after Martin Luther and his Ninety-Five Theses ushered in the Reformation, bestselling author and controversial bishop and teacher John Shelby Spong delivers twelve forward-thinking theses to spark a new reformation to reinvigorate Christianity and ensure its future.

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The relevancy of The Old Testament today

Are there parts of the Old Testament that are said to be relevant today and why?

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Resistance Bible Study

(This is the introduction to a weekly Bible study I’m starting for students at USC. A few days ago, I finished reading a remarkable little book that my dear cousin Judy sent me: On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder, a Yale history professor who incisively diagnoses the present danger posed by Trump and the Republicans to the survival of democracy in this country, and offers prescriptions for action. I closed the book, took a deep breath, and resolved to do something new and different toward that end. This “Resistance Bible Study” is the result. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes! Any “musings” readers wishing to do their own version of this, please go for it – and keep me posted, too.)

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Spirituality outside the context of religion

  Question & Answer   Mike from SanFrancisco asks: Question: I am interested in spirituality but not in religion but isn’t spirituality the same as religion? Answer: By Rev. Matthew Fox Recently I had a thoughtful discussion …

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Reimagining God: An Interview with Lloyd Geering (part 5 of 5) with Ryan Bell

This week I speak with Sir Lloyd Geering, New Zealand theologian and pioneering Christian post-theist. In 1967, Geering was charged with heresy by the Presbyterian Church in New Zealand. He successfully withstood this challenge and has continued writing and speaking about religion and holy texts as a human constructions and words like “God” and “faith” as referents of human self-understanding and growth. He is the author of many books and articles, a few of which can be found in the links below.

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Do Your Job – Part IV

Part 4 of a 4-Part Series

In his World Peace Day Message for 2017 Pope Francis states, “To be true followers of Jesus today also includes embracing his teaching about nonviolence.” This is a fine example of a bishop being what a bishop is commissioned to be by Jesus (Mt 28:19). He is teaching the disciples of Jesus “to obey all that I have commanded you.”

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About “Markingsmass: A Liturgy for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation”

Dag Hammarskjold was Secretary General of the United Nations when he died in a plane crash in Africa in 1961 while on a peace-keeping mission. Widely admired for his performance in that role, he was rewarded posthumously with the Nobel Peace Prize.

Distinguished as his diplomatic career was, it has been equaled remarkably in public interest in a very different sphere—that of Christian spirituality–by the publication of Markings, a sort of diary or journal published after his death. It has remained in print since the 1960’s and is generally considered one of the great Christian devotional classics of the twentieth century, frequently compared with the works of St. Augustine, Pascal, Merton and other important Christian writers.

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Reimagining God: An Interview with Lloyd Geering (part 4 of 5) with Ryan Bell

This week I speak with Sir Lloyd Geering, New Zealand theologian and pioneering Christian post-theist. In 1967, Geering was charged with heresy by the Presbyterian Church in New Zealand. He successfully withstood this challenge and has continued writing and speaking about religion and holy texts as a human constructions and words like “God” and “faith” as referents of human self-understanding and growth. He is the author of many books and articles, a few of which can be found in the links below.

read more