January 2012 Theme

January Theme – Meaning Making

Being religious means asking passionately
the question of the meaning of our existence and
being willing to receive answers even if the answers hurt.

- Paul Tillich

Foundational Documents
The Oneness of the Human Family by Marcus Braybrooke
Professor Braybrooke introduces us to a formative document of the interfaith movement and the extraordinary Robert Muller who drafted it.

Paul Knitter & 21st Century Religion
Pluralism - A Religious Home for Us All by Paul Chaffee
Professor Knitter is one of a handful of thinkers who have opened up the doors of interfaith dialogue for Christians, and he is as vital and instructive today as he was in his classic No Other Name?, published in 1985.

Interfaith Skill-sets
When Wiccans & Evangelical Christians Become Friends by Don Frew
The unlikely friendship between a Neopagan and conservative Evangelical Christians offers a startling perspective on interfaith culture.

Comparative Theology
As Iron Sharpens Iron, So Does One Tradition Sharpen Another by Benjamin DeVan
Ben DeVan, who grew up in a conservative Christian family, makes a powerful plea for the usefulness of serious comparative theology.

Interspiritual Students
Indian Spirituality at T Mobile Los Angeles by Ruth Broyde Sharone
Once again Ruth Sharone reminds us that interfaith dialogue is as everyday as a visit to your local phone vendor, where she learned about growing up in an interfaith environment.

The Positive Core
“How Do I Make Meaning Out of Life?” – Eight Interreligious Leaders Respond

No one is exempt from trying to figure the meaning of life. Eight interfaith leaders, each strongly grounded in one or more traditions, were invited to share how they making meaning out of life.

How I Make Meaning in Life by Jim Burklo, Christian
Ice-breakers, Dancing, and Meaning Making by Vanessa Gomez, Humanist
What is Most Meaningful in My Life as a Buddhist by Rita Gross, Buddhist
Starting with Moksha and Karma Yoga by Samir Kalra, Hindu
One Thousand Words on “Meaning” by Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, Jewish
Faith and the Journey toward Meaning by Craig Phillips, Muslim
The Fiery Force that Sparkles in Everything by Yoland Trevino, Mayan

Intergenerational Collaboration
State of Formation Weighs in on Meaning

State of Formation is a collective of young scholars and writers. Seven of them consented to answer the same question addressed by the leaders above.

Internal Diversity & Intra-Faith Conversations by Simran Jeet Singh, Sikh
Finding Meaning Within Judaism by Lauren Tuchman, Jewish
Meaning Making: The Religion that lets you live and let live by Sai Santosh Kolluru, Hindu
The Ocean of My Words by Phillipe Copeland, Baha'i 
Meaning and meaning: An Important Difference by Kile Jones, atheism, secular humanism, and Unitarian Universalist
The Search for Meaning by Myriam Francois-Cerrah, Muslim
Meaning vs. Hope by Yaira Robinson, Jewish
Making Sense of the Bible: What Grandma and Seminary Taught Me by Kit Evans, Christian

New Harvard Journal Focuses on Comparative Theology by Sandy Westin
Harvard graduate students, frustrated that they had no place to publish peer reviewed articles, banded together three years ago to solve the problem.