Interfaith

Material about a variety of faith traditions

Worldview Matters

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Topic One: What does the Baha'i faith believe? We had a caller yesterday that practices the Baha'I faith. Why is this faith growing among young professionals? How does the Baha'I faith fit with postmodernism and liberal activism?

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Interfaith Parenting?

Religion driven conflict and culture wars seem to dominate the news cycle these days. What you may not be aware of is the counter-cultural movement of interfaith dialogue and social action. This movement is increasingly being led by a new generation. One example is Eboo Patel's Interfaith Youth Core, based in Chicago. Another is the work of Joshua Stanton, a founder of the Journal of Interreligious Dialogue. Even the process of theological education and training is embracing the principles of interfaith dialogue and pluralism, giving rise to a generation of 'New Interfaith Theologians'.

I believe that interfaith families are also a part of this movement. The Pew Forum on Religion in Public Life has data on the prevalence and patterns of 'mixed faith' couples in the United States:

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The Dalai Lama and the Professor are Both Right

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Professor Stephen Prothero, author of God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World-and Why Their Differences Matter, has some critical comments about a recent editorial in the New York Times written by the Dalai Lama:

I am a big fan of the Dalai Lama. I love his trademark smile and I hate the fact that I missed his talks this week in New York City. But I cannot say either "Amen" or "Om" to the shopworn clichés that he trots out in the New York Times in “Many Faiths, One Truth.”

Recalling the Apostle Paul—“When I was a child, I spoke like a child”—the Dalai Lama begins by copping to youthful naivete. “When I was a boy in Tibet, I felt that my own Buddhist religion must be the best,” he writes, “and that other faiths were somehow inferior.” However, just as Paul, upon becoming a man, “put away childish things,” the Dalai Lama now sees his youthful exclusivism as both naïve and dangerous. There is “one truth” behind the “many faiths,” and that core truth, he argues, is compassion.

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Confessions of a Church Going Witch

{josquote}For a short time, I flirted with Baha’i, an offshoot of Islam that stresses the equality of men and women and the underlying unity of all the world’s major religions.{/josquote}

I grew up in the south. Right smack dab in the middle of the “Bible belt”. Christianity was just assumed. I mean, the second question you get asked when meeting someone new is, “Where do you go to church?” My family didn’t go to church. Religion and church was never really something that was discussed in my house. But as I got older, I did go. All of my friends went to church, so when I stayed over, I did as well. I went quite a bit, in fact.

However as often as I went, I was never comfortable. I always felt like I was on the outside looking in. I tried. I really did, because not going or admitting that you didn’t believe was to commit social suicide. And no self-respecting small-town teenager would do that.

Finally, I went away to college. There I began experimenting. Oh, not with drugs, I was nowhere near that daring, but with religion. My grandpa had once told me, “There are so many different religions out there, but only one of them can be the true right one.“ I was determined to find that right one.

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Our Jewish-Baha'i Interfaith Marriage

bahai star
Davida Steinberg

My sister called me to talk to my husband. "Turn on CNN! They're doing a piece on Bahá'is!"

As my Bahá'i husband turned to the TV and gave the phone back to me, my sister laughed loudly, despite the seriousness of the news. "Can you imagine if Calvin called our family every time Jews were mentioned in the mainstream media?!" We both laughed, and Calvin enjoyed the joke, too.

It's true, the Bahá'i Faith (as it is formally known) doesn't get as much press as Judaism. That is probably because it is a fairly new faith, founded in Persia (modern Iran) in the 1840s. In fact, nearly every time I see the Bahá'i Faith mentioned, there is an explanatory paragraph. So here it is, from the official website info.bahai.org:

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