Public Theology Reimagined

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September 18, 2017

On the perils of placing all our hope in a utopian future — and the real possibility for change that lies in our actions, here and now.

Photo of a phone saying "Stop Complaining." Photo by Omar Prestwich
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August 17, 2017

Can the occasional cathartic rant lead to healing? The virtue of letting our frustrations be heard — from Russian novels and the Book of Job to a Catholic women’s “pray and bitch” prayer group.

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August 14, 2017

A searching exploration of the “white imagination” — and how it not only influences white people but also people of color’s lenses on the world.

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July 7, 2017

Rather than focusing on what’s beyond the limits of ordinary experience, we might be better served focusing on what’s within.

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July 7, 2017

In a turning cultural tide, non-religious Millennials and the Christian church find themselves at odds. But do they have to be?

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June 30, 2017

American politics is caught between two competing ideologies: Nietzsche’s doctrine of strength and power over weakness, and the Judeo-Christian ethics of humility and compassion for the weak. A young theologian seeks to understand American civil religion.

A man sitting in the woods holding a sacred text.
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June 23, 2017

For the closing days of Ramadan, a young Catholic scholar shows us that we can look to many sources outside one’s own religious canon to find meaning and pay attention to the world before us.

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June 16, 2017

In the wake of the attacks in Manchester, an artist’s impassioned appeal to the West to cast off the scourge of collective responsibility for terrorism — and embrace the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims as partners not adversaries in the battle against extreme violence.

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June 14, 2017

Our stories hold power no matter the circumstances of our lives. A Hmong-American woman looks on her father’s modest life, and her own — through refugee camps in Thailand to their new life in the American Midwest — and reveals lessons from the powerless on our inherent dignity, even through our most vulnerable times.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks as President Donald Trump listens during a parent-teacher conference listening session at the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 14, 2017. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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June 13, 2017

A Dutch theologian explains the religious principles at the heart of Trump’s choice for U.S. Secretary of Education. Hint: it’s a Dutch neo-Calvinist minister and politician.

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June 2, 2017

Acknowledging the limits of our own experience, and the spiritual challenge of building deep relationships with those outside our cultural comfort zones.

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June 2, 2017

The moral authority of frail bodies. Vulnerability as strength. How solidarity can lead to resurrection.

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May 31, 2017

Love and gratitude can be daring, disruptive acts in a world that insists on conflict and endless craving.

A community of matzah
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May 23, 2017

There’s no such thing as finding belonging too late. In mid-life, a writer delves into the stories and traditions of her Jewish heritage, and discovers a sense of kinship more extensive and profound than any she’d experienced before.

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May 15, 2017

A balm for burnout: self-love and a guided meditation to empower us to take a stand — literally — for our own right to be happy and whole.

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May 6, 2017

Witnessing the faint smile of her dying mother, the daughter of Haitian-Creole parents reflects on why she’s been writing about death and grief ever since — and the cathartic edge of the Book of Revelation and C.S. Lewis.

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April 27, 2017

In an age of never-ending digital connectedness, we feel more lonely — and more isolated — than ever before. But what possibilities emerge when people with different identities come together face-to-face and gather around the dinner table?

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April 21, 2017

Three wisdom keepers on the inner voice of compassion in the mystical and contemplative traditions

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April 21, 2017

What does it take to do the messy work compassion through incredible obstacles? Rami Nashashibi, Naomi Tutu and Kevin Cosby on courage and living compassion.

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April 20, 2017

With wisdom and humor, Karen Armstrong and a cadre of American mayors, grapple with the question of cultivating compassion in our cities. Join the live stream from the 2017 Festival of Faiths.

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April 18, 2017

Lovingkindness isn’t a sweet and soft thing. It’s a rigorous transformation of mind and spirit, and it’s the first step to cultivating a sense of connection to those around us.

Matt Welsh of Australia during a feature shoot at Somerset College Pool May 7, 2004 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
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April 17, 2017

After a competitive swimmer calls it quits, he finds solace Greek epics and the Gospel of Matthew. And, by his two young sons, he finds his way back into the water again.

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April 4, 2017

Fifty years ago today, on April 4, 1967, a reluctant Martin Luther King stood in Riverside Church in New York. Omid Safi on the promise of that moment and where we are today.

Sepia silhouette portrait of a man
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March 28, 2017

Through the biblical story of a son’s sacrifice, Michael Eric Dyson says there’s a powerful lesson about our own tests and how we abuse them. An exploration of corporal punishment of children, a broader view of truth, and the perils of biblical literalism.

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March 21, 2017

A sense of mindfulness can help us recalibrate our reactions to those we judge as different or dangerous.

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March 7, 2017

Beyonce and Chance the Rapper embody the deep, enduring presence of black faith in the world, both in its powerful solemnity and in its joyful boisterousness.

A man sits in contemplation.
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March 1, 2017

What might we make space for if we gave up our indignation, even if just for a moment? A historical and philosophical inquiry into the roots of this social moment.

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January 30, 2017

The biblical song of an exiled mother carries a daring “punk-rock” message of resistance.

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January 17, 2017

At its best learning can also be a spiritual quest. A community of millennials is forging new networks for lifelong learning — that take the soul into account.

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January 16, 2017

For many people of color, the feeling of safety is fluid and often fleeting. On this MLK Day, a young AME minister invokes the presence of her ancestors and chooses community over chaos, calling for brave spaces for sharing truths and collective healing.

LYNCHBURG, VA - JANUARY 18: Supporters of Donald Trump reach for bumper stickers before the Republican presidential candidate delivers the convocation at the Vines Center on the campus of Liberty University on January 18, 2016 in Lynchburg, Virginia. A billionaire real estate mogul and reality television personality, Trump addressed students and guests at the non-profit, private Christian university that was founded in 1971 by evangelical Southern Baptist televangelist Jerry Falwell. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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November 22, 2016

An African-American professor who has spent her life building bridges across racial divides questions whether she can continue knowing that four out of five white Evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump.

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November 21, 2016

A Thanksgiving reflection on scarcity and abundance, and the sacred work of inviting our neighbors and strangers alike to the table.

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November 21, 2016

Instead of denying frightening realities, sometimes the best path forward is a courageous acknowledgement of the truth.

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November 10, 2016

With so much pain and anger and fear after the presidential election, an expression of kindness. The son of an Ojibwe mother and a Jewish father, who survived the Holocaust and found refuge in America, welcomes all who feel marginalized into his home — including Trump supporters.

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November 1, 2016

The battlefield of politics can leave us feeling voiceless. One organization is reimagining civic participation, and rediscovering the possibility of imagination in public life.

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October 24, 2016

Our lives are interwoven, even when the connections aren’t always apparent. A reflection on civic participation as a form of compassion to the loved ones and strangers we live alongside.

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October 4, 2016

We spend lifetimes answering that universal (and universally vexing) question: “What am I for?” From patron saints to superhero alter egos, Angie Thurston explores the diverse ways people are discovering, creating, and boldly asserting their own identities.

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October 3, 2016

To be part of any family is to bear witness to its joy, as well as its dysfunction. For Rosh Hashanah, Sharon Brous explores the intimate link between family healing and social responsibility at the heart of Jewish faith.

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September 17, 2016

The now-prevalent culture of mastery and expertise take root in ideas of grit and the “10,000-hour rule.” But, doing something new for the first time, even just a little, changes your sense of it altogether.

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September 12, 2016

As the United Nations prepares for its 71st session, Mohammed Fairouz honors the courage of those who came before us to make bold vows and asks us to step beyond our cynicism to achieve our greatest aspirations.

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August 19, 2016

Our culture has a profound discomfort with walking openly through grief. An exploration of the healing power of companionship and openness after loss — embodied in groundbreaking gatherings for millennials longing to heal together.

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August 5, 2016

Athleticism can pay off with glory and spectacle, but it’s also a daily ritual, a crucible for character. Theologian Don C. Richter explores the the spiritual underpinnings of the discipline of sport.

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July 18, 2016

Our public discourse has been infiltrated by ego and self-interest. Mohammed Fairouz challenges convictions of correctness on all sides, and calls for a humbler, more generous political spirit.

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July 9, 2016

For many, the cycling class-phenom SoulCycle is more than a way to burn calories. It fosters the experiences we used to find only within the walls of a church: collective identity, safety, and spiritual catharsis.

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August 17, 2014

As part of a conversation with the Church of Ireland about the question of human sexuality, our special contributor confesses his “gay agenda”: to love the gospels; to love repentance; to love words and courage and my partner; and to show love to each other on our great endeavor.

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December 25, 2013

How do Christians find their place within the Christmas story? A religious scholar reflects on the necessary, urgent correspondence between two traditional Christmas narratives.

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September 21, 2013

Charles Camosy argues that only in a world dominated by our lazy binaries could Pope Francis be considered “liberal” simply because he doesn’t fit into “conservative” categories.

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July 30, 2012

The Zen Buddhist monk and medical anthropologist talks to Krista Tippett about her life, Buddhist faith, inspirations, and the vast concepts of death, compassion, grief — and neuroscience.