Here’s what Krister Stendahl said, in his own words, about ‘holy envy’ in the context of effective interfaith dialog

Krister Stendahl, dean of Harvard Divinity School and bishop of Stockholm in the Lutheran state Church of Sweden, is probably best known now for his "three rules of religious understanding" -- especially the third rule, "Leave room for 'holy envy'," which supplied the title of a best-selling book in 2019. The book is Barbara Brown … Continue reading Here’s what Krister Stendahl said, in his own words, about ‘holy envy’ in the context of effective interfaith dialog

Promo for a parish book study — what things matter most in a time of declining mainline church membership?

Editor's (admin's) note. Lightly edited copy of a blast email I sent out promoting a new book study that my wife and I are co-facilitating for an adult faith formation group in our ELCA Lutheran parish. While the book is about "renewing the church from its Lutheran core," and it quotes Martin Luther extensively, its … Continue reading Promo for a parish book study — what things matter most in a time of declining mainline church membership?

Spiritual direction, May 2022

Editor’s (admin’s) note. Lightly edited copy of an email I sent to my spiritual director the night before our monthly meeting for May. I email her every month, mostly to focus my mind before we meet, and I archive them here so I have a record of issues I’ve dealt with over time. Here's my monthly … Continue reading Spiritual direction, May 2022

Caring for creation in a time of environmental crisis: Stewardship, sacrament and Laudato Si’

Jubilee Farm, Center for Ecology and Spirituality, Springfield, Illinois, April 2022 In my inbox today, by coincidence when I've been doing keyword searches for ecumenical resources on Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si', a copy of Richard Rohr's summary of this week's daily meditations on the theme "A Sacramental Reality." One of those coincidences we're reminded … Continue reading Caring for creation in a time of environmental crisis: Stewardship, sacrament and Laudato Si’

‘Let’s take care of it’: (Mostly) Lutheran resources on Laudato Si’ and ELCA’s 1993 statement on Caring for Creation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vjxWnFnKFo (YouTube, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Nov. 5, 2021) The power of God is present at all places, even in the tiniest tree leaf. Do you think God is sleeping on a pillow in heaven? ... God is wholly present in all creation, in every corner, behind you and before you. -- Martin Luther … Continue reading ‘Let’s take care of it’: (Mostly) Lutheran resources on Laudato Si’ and ELCA’s 1993 statement on Caring for Creation

How ‘holy envy’ enhances religious pluralism and guards against spiritual shoplifting or appropriation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdXAGm5xm9M Palm Sunday, 2016, Saint John's Orthodox Church, Warren, Ohio. I've been thinking lately about the concept of "holy envy" and the Swedish academic who coined the term. That's partly because I worry that the whole idea of pluralism -- both religious and secular -- is under sustained attack now at home and abroad. I … Continue reading How ‘holy envy’ enhances religious pluralism and guards against spiritual shoplifting or appropriation

Uneasy with St. John’s bias against ‘the Jews’ in an age of religious pluralism? Here are a couple of ways to deal with it

Christ Before Pilate, Hans Holbein the Younger, ca. 1538-40 (Wikimedia Commons) Now comes Jim McDermott SJ, associate editor of the Jesuit magazine America, and suggests -- in the headline, no less -- "The Gospel of John has been used to justify anti-Semitism—so we should stop reading it on Good Friday." To which I say: Amen, … Continue reading Uneasy with St. John’s bias against ‘the Jews’ in an age of religious pluralism? Here are a couple of ways to deal with it

Thoughts, prayers, wisdom from the Talmud and acting against ‘the enormity of the world’s grief’ in wartime

Screen grab of meme shared to my Facebook news feed, Oct. 29, 2021. For several months I've been wanting to jumpstart my prayer life, but until last week I never would have thought it would involve the heartache of praying for peace in Ukraine in the face of a failed World War II-style blitzkrieg that … Continue reading Thoughts, prayers, wisdom from the Talmud and acting against ‘the enormity of the world’s grief’ in wartime

Laudato Si’, climate change and intersectionality: Not really somebody else’s problem

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d51EtDceF38&t=106s An ongoing discussion of Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si' is changing the way I think about intersectionality. It first came up several weeks ago in a Zoom dialog on the Laudato Si' Action Platform. The dialog, conducted by the Springfield Dominican Sisters' action program committee, would have been held at the motherhouse. it was … Continue reading Laudato Si’, climate change and intersectionality: Not really somebody else’s problem

Notes on a scientific study on spirituality — how doing good does you good; also Jewish-Christian relations, book of Hebrews

When I taught mass comms at Benedictine, I used to tell the kids sometimes you can do pretty darn well for yourself by doing good. I thought it fit our mission as a faith-based college, and, besides, I believed it. Now comes Lisa Miller, a psychologist at Columbia Teachers College, with a study offering scientific … Continue reading Notes on a scientific study on spirituality — how doing good does you good; also Jewish-Christian relations, book of Hebrews