I discovered that I was Majestic last week when I finally decided to publish my book, Teaching Curious Christians about Judaism, as an e-book on Amazon's Kindle.
Many people are very discouraged by the current climate of anti-Muslim and anti-"other" rhetoric that so fills the airwaves. However, the larger reality is that we are progressing as anation towards a more positive appropriation of our rich religious diversity.
At first glance, the idea of having an interreligious prayer might seem disingenuous and perhaps even insulting; one might ask whether or not the prayer is truly "meaningful": does the language used reflect how one understands their idea and conceptualization of the divine?
We are not flawless and the Hindu past is not unblemished. The future of our tradition, however, is not contingent on a perfect past or on immunity to criticism in the present. It depends on its ability to address human problems and to promote the flourishing of all human beings.
Given the news headlines week-in, week-out, interfaith and intercultural relations ought surely to be a priority. Yet we struggle to find funding and support.
Academic roundtables should be considered by top academic leaders as a very useful way to inspire, challenge, and encourage a younger generation of scholars, exposing them to a range of top and senior scholars and their ideas.
They shared meals at which kosher food was provided, and the rabbi recited the special Jewish prayers marking those holy days in the Jewish calendar. This was, perhaps, the first time a pope celebrated these Jewish festivals with a rabbi at the Vatican.
Recent pastoral letters and press conferences from Roman Catholic Bishops are demonstrating an increasing intolerance for other faiths and beliefs. These statements suggest that individual Catholics are not capable of knowing the strength of their own personal faith.
This kind of interfaith work might be compared to throwing a small stone into a pond: there is usually not a big splash but the ripples slowly proceed everywhere, bringing their important message.
If you took time to name a group that is still stigmatized but overlooked in the movement for mutual respect, are there any you would choose? One that comes to mind is the non-religious.
In religious circles, tolerance, at best, is what the pious extend toward people they regard as heathens, idol worshippers or infidels. It is time we did away with tolerance and replaced it with "mutual respect."
We know religion has the power to do good. We know religion also has the power to inspire acts of terrorism and evil. We know something else. Religious affiliation in our world today is growing.
Religious faith has a major part to play in shaping the values which guide the modern world. It can and should be a force for progress. I also think that understanding our increasingly globalized world today requires an understanding of religion and people of religious faith.
What do Muslims and Mormons have in common? It turns out both want to take over the world. But when they are not too busy doing that, they tell jokes -- together.