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A Sampler of Where We Have Come

A Sampler of Where We Have Come

by Paul Chaffee, Editor

Growing up 100 years ago meant knowing almost nothing about the world’s spiritual traditions except your own. That world is mostly gone from us, never to return.

A Tribute to Bill Lesher

A Tribute to Bill Lesher

by Joseph Prabhu

The Reverend William E. Lesher – Bill to his friends – was a man of many parts and roles. Seminary president, theological scholar and educator, pastor and religious leader, civil rights advocate and marcher, pioneer of the modern interfaith movement, and toward the end of his life, a tireless promoter of a possible new civilization for humankind.

Best of TIO Videos 2017

Best of TIO Videos 2017

by Megan Anderson

Below you will find our top picks from 2017. They cover the prayerful to the prophetic; they call us to reflect and to take action. Their messages are pertinent to the situations today and contain lessons each of us can learn from. So kick back and prepare to be inspired, challenged, and have your thoughts provoked.

Ethics in the Swamp: the Rot of Corruption

Ethics in the Swamp: the Rot of Corruption

by Katherine Marshall

Corruption is a live topic today. Since 2005, international anti-corruption day has been “celebrated” on December 9, in hopes that a visible day marking the topic can raise awareness about corruption and bolster a sense that something can be done to combat and prevent it. 

All I Have Is a Voice

All I Have Is a Voice

by Marcus Braybrooke

The row over reading verses of the Qur’an in a Cathedral in Scotland has, I gather, reached across the Atlantic. Certainly the Cathedral has had a lot of abusive online messages from the U.S.A. During an Epiphany service at the Cathedral a Muslim law student was invited to read the Qur’anic account of the birth of Jesus, which also says, as Muslims believe, that Jesus was a prophet but not divine.

The Slow Food Movement – Revaluing What We Eat

The Slow Food Movement – Revaluing What We Eat

by Paul Chaffee

For those who would love to find some middle ground between the strictures of a vegetarian or vegan diet, on one hand, and the sometime travesties of big agriculture, GMOs (genetically modified organisms), packaged food, and fast food, on the other, the slow food movement may be a satisfying alternative in reflecting on and choosing what you eat and how you eat. 

What if Animals Believe in God?

What if Animals Believe in God?

by Andrew Aghapour

Chimpanzees believe in God. This news, widely reported last year, is only a slight exaggeration. Using hidden cameras, scientists have indeed captured footage of chimpanzee behavior that resembles religious ritual.

An Excerpt from "The Hundred-Year Walk – An Armenian Odyssey"

An Excerpt from "The Hundred-Year Walk – An Armenian Odyssey"

by Dawn Anahid MacKeen

The following is a chapter from MacKeen’s book recounting how she finally meets the descendants of Sheikh Hammud al-Aekleh, whose family welcomed in her grandfather, saving his life. Some members of the family that greeted her in 2007 today are Syrian refugees themselves.

On Discovering and Re-Imagining Interfaith

On Discovering and Re-Imagining Interfaith

by Bud Heckman

When I first started working for interfaith cooperation, I could not find or figure out much of anything. I was hungry to learn, but it was more intuition, inductive reasoning, and plain old dumb luck of “finding” some of the trails of pioneers that moved me forward in figuring out what interfaith was.

Seizing an Alternative

Seizing an Alternative

by Philip Clayton

This is the story of the interfaith movement and climate change. It is also the story of a scholar of science and religion who gradually realizes that global climate change is the most urgent threat that humanity faces.Rampant poverty, social inequalities, the unjust treatment of the global South, each of these is magnified ten or a hundred fold by climate disruption.

Spiritual Exploring with Kids

Spiritual Exploring with Kids

by Vicki Garlock

Kids love to explore. And a quick look at any summer camp guide will support that claim. Last summer, kids in our area could attend Camp Explorer, Camp Eco-Explorer, Camp Adventure, Camp Discovery, Camp Run Wild, Camp Invention, or Nature Adventures, to name just a few!

Dogma is a Danger to Us All

Dogma is a Danger to Us All

by Ruth Broyde Sharone

“Religion is dead.” I winced as if I had experienced a body blow when I heard these words, delivered by one of the keynote speakers at an interspiritual conference on the East Coast three years ago.The keynote speaker happened to be a friend of mine, a cable show producer who for decades has extoled and promoted the “spiritual-but-not-religious” movement, a growing phenomena that has challenged the value and significance of traditional religions in our times.

Despina Namwembe and Grassroots Interfaith in Africa

Despina Namwembe and Grassroots Interfaith in Africa

A TIO Interview

Despina Namwembe is a force of hope to be reckoned with when it comes to grassroots interfaith work in Africa. A social scientist with a masters in peace and conflict studies, she coordinates the work of more than 30 grassroots interfaith organizations doing different social action projects in the Great Lakes countries of Africa.

Seeds of Hope

Seeds of Hope

by Paul Chaffee, Editor

A few years back Millennials were suffering considerable verbal abuse for being the ones who’ve walked out of church, who have given up the religion their forebears fought so hard to claim and defend.

Why Religious Diversity is the Pathway to Peace

Why Religious Diversity is the Pathway to Peace

by Victor Kazanjian

On Christmas Eve, people across the United States and around the world gathered to watch “May Peace Prevail on Earth: An Interfaith Christmas Special,” broadcast on CBS stations nationally and streamed online internationally by the United Religions Initiative who produced the program. At first glance, “an Interfaith Christmas” seems a strange contradiction.

Spirituality and Practice – Part 2

Spirituality and Practice – Part 2

by Paul Chaffee

TIO’s initial profile of Spirituality & Practice, in November 2012, suggested that the website was the premier gathering of spiritual resources and practices on the planet. Its 24,000 web pages constituted a vast library of reviews, profiles, blogs, and on-demand e-courses. Six years later, while sporting a beautiful new web platform, S&P has kept its vision and goals intact.

God With(in) the World

God With(in) the World

by Diana Butler Bass
Here in the labyrinth, I struggle to find words to describe what I feel. Up on the mountaintop, I knew the language to describe God: majestic, transcendent, all-powerful, heavenly Father, Lord, and King. In this vocabulary, God remains stubbornly located in a few select places, mostly in external realms above or beyond: heaven, the church, doctrine, or the sacraments.

Reimagining the Interfaith Movement

Reimagining the Interfaith Movement

by Tahil Sharma and Megan Anderson

2017 has shaped the interfaith movement and clearly shown us the growing need for religious and secular pluralism and understanding. From clergy at the front lines of demonstrations against white supremacy and the drastic changes being made to the healthcare system, to community members standing against hatred

Relinquishing Taboos

Relinquishing Taboos

by Miranda Hovemeyer

There’s a photo that I keep seeing posted on social media. I can’t find the original source, but it’s a photo of what appears to be a page from a book. On the page is written, “Being taught to avoid talking about politics and religion has led to a lack of understanding of politics and religion.

Courage from the Other Side

Courage from the Other Side

by Johnny Martin

I woke up on an early June morning last summer with plans to attend the ‘Anti-Sharia Protest’ event in Paradise Valley, about 30 miles from my home in Mesa, Arizona. There had been a lot of media attention in the days leading up to the demonstration, which was being called an “Islamophobic hate rally”