• When I was looking at a possible job change you talked with me, and supported me even as both of us were unsure of the path I was pursuing. I’m not sure I would have survived it without your sensitive support. . . . Kathie
  • That first August morning when I shared my shameful secret, you offered warmth and acceptance. I left feeling like I had made a friend from whom I would not need to hide. . . . Jordan
  • Thank you for helping us through the most difficult period of our marriage. Because you helped me me understand the nature of this type of mental illness I have been able to help others. . . . Sharon
  • If anyone ever needed a Spiritual Guide to help sustain her fast dwindling faith, it was I. I thank God that I found that in you. . . . Comfort
  • Your faith is contagious! . . . Verna
  • I not only feel closer to God because of you, but with your help I’ve overcome so much fear, even the fear of speaking in front of people. . . . Cherry
  • You have led me into a deeper awareness of God’s love for me and through me. . . . Joyce
  • You have an inspirational way of keeping the road cleared. . . . Erik
  • A crazy year and you’ve been with me every step of the way. You’ve been my rock and I can’t thank you enough. . . . Rose
  • Thank you for being you . . . and always being there for me. . . . Amie

World Spirituality Class

World Spirituality Class

  • We don’t seem to challenge one another in the Interfaith movement.

  • Being challenged by other faith traditions has deepened my decidedly Christian faith.

  • This class is about finding a shared language to make those generative conversations happen.

I’ve been noticing something about the Interfaith movement. By and large, and I know it is not always the case, but by and large, we get together and talk about anything other than our faith. Oh, we might educate one another concerning what we do or don’t believe, but challenge each other? Debate our faith on its merits? No, we’re way too polite for that. Mind you I’m actually not criticizing here. It’s been important for us to just get together and find out that those of different faiths don’t actually have horns, that people of faith generally have open hearts, and share a deep desire for justice. But it’s time to move on from here because there is a tremendous amount to be gained from a deeper conversation. Each of our religious traditions provides a framework of meaning and practice as we live in relation to – what word shall I use? – let’s say, Mystery.

In fact it is the different ways we describe and experience these depth structures that give each religion its unique and beautiful character. If we can get at the core structures within each of our traditions, see how they unfold, and provide an understanding of our faiths beyond the inevitable modernist deconstruction, we have an opportunity to offer wisdom and insight to one another while remaining faithful to our own tradition.

This is what my friend Marc Gafni and I refer to as the “dual-citizenship” model of faith. Marc is steeped in an Orthodox Jewish tradition. Another friend of ours, Sally Kempton, is steeped in the Hindu tradition. My wife Barbara seeks to be faithful to her development in what is called a “translineage” tradition. When we talk we challenge one another to grow and develop and sometimes that means critiquing another tradition. I find those conversations rather than pushing me to leave my faith instead deepen my decidedly Christian faith. That is the value of a World Spirituality. But in order to have those conversations we need to find a shared language, a way to talk about the depth structures of creation that can be understood, albeit differently, from within a variety of traditions. This class is about finding that shared language.

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