21734020195_b72729f956_z Independent Catholics, Social Justice, and “Sacramental Justice” Wednesday, June 22, 2016 - Julie Byrne How long will Catholics wait for church leadership to embrace the basic idea that women can serve in persona Christi—represent Christ to the people of God in ordained ministry—just as fully as men? Some Catholics stopped waiting a long time ago. Read more...
5744595557_229131ebbc_z On Being Spiritual but Not Religious: Past, Present, Future(s) Thursday, June 16, 2016 - William B. Parsons What does “being spiritual but not religious” mean? It's on dating sites, so it must be something! But is it clear-cut and easy to identify, or is it more like what Gertrude Stein once said about Oakland, California, namely: “There is no there there.” It’s a good question. We’ll shed some light […]
Bonnaroo Stage On Bonnaroo’s 15th: The Sacred and the Psychedelic Tradition Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - Scott Muir  While 65% of the 655 individuals I surveyed at 10 such festivals report that they rarely or never “attend religious or spiritual services/gatherings,” participants overwhelmingly affirm the notion that these festivals are themselves sacred social events. Read more...
American Apocalypse Seven Questions for Matthew Avery Sutton Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - Matthew Avery Sutton I was not terribly interested in defining religion or the sacred. My focus was on how what my subjects would define as their religious beliefs and convictions functioned. I focused on the work that their religion did. Read more...
"Presente para Yemanjá" da série "Povo de Santo (Amaro)," Itapema, Bahia, 2012. Image by Amanda Oliveira, May 13, 2012. Available via Flickr. Candomblé Reconsidered: A Sacred Matters Interview Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - Dianne Stewart In the twenty-first century, increasing populations are becoming aware of the presence of African-heritage religions in the diaspora but we have still much to learn from and about these religions. Read more...
"Tango in the Night." Image by Shinichi Higashi, May 6, 2013. Available via Flickr. Teaching True Believers Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - Jolyon Baraka Thomas The religious studies classroom is a strange place. Whether one teaches in a public university or a private one, the subject matter demands that students set aside personal commitments in order to engage with religion both critically and respectfully. Read More...
World War 2 Memorial A Fresh Look on Treating Moral Injury Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - Ed Van Herik Moral injury is a wrenching condition that has paralyzed a number of returning veterans, spurring the U.S. Army to look for a path that will complete the journey home for affected soldiers. While battle wounds account for the most visible effect of war, moral injury claims its share of victims as well. Read […]
Screen capture from the "Dead Poets Society," a film by Touchstone Pictures Dangerous Education Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - Hussein Rashid I’ve started with a discussion of Boko Haram and the Taliban, because it is easier to show the foibles of an approach when it is distant from us. However, I fear that many of the rejectionist attitudes of these groups are already operating in the United States. Read more...
med Seven Questions for Jeff Wilson Tuesday, April 26, 2016 - Jeff Wilson The really interesting thing is that mindfulness can be simultaneously religious and secular, spiritual and scientific, not only for different people but even for the same persons.  This demonstrates just how much the category of “the sacred” is in flux in today’s society. Read more...
skull2 Mortality Now: Top 5 Reminders of Death for Aging Baby Boomers Saturday, April 23, 2016 - Gary Laderman Memento Mori. Remember, you will die. Not a pleasant thought, yet one that has universal application because it is an unavoidable truth. The vanity of life, the nature of impermanence, the transient quality of existence. You get the point. Read more...
birth Cutting up “The Birth of a Nation” Thursday, April 14, 2016 - S. Brent Plate Cut up D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation and it bleeds a little. Rearrange the pieces, as Griffith so expertly cut up film sequences, and put them together in new ways. Splice it into histories, the stories of photography, race, literature, the KKK, bodies, film technique, and it comes out looking […]
Three people 'kowtowing' to an altar, by the Wellcome Library, London. Available via Wikipedia under Creative Commons license CC BY 4.0 Seven Questions for Eric Reinders Tuesday, April 5, 2016 - Eric Reinders Then I read Foucault’s Discipline and Punish about the making of the soldier’s body and I thought, yes, there might be a way to talk about monastic discipline in a new way. Read more...