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Jesus’ Remains: Teaching Multiple Jesi

Jesus’ Remains: Teaching Multiple Jesi

By Kate Daley-Bailey, Religion Bulletin…..Amid all these Jesi (my highly technical term for multiple Jesuses), my hope is to drive home to my students that Jesus, much like the concepts ‘religion’ or ‘the sacred’ or even ‘human’, has become somewhat of an empty signifier, meaning so many things to so many people that invoking his name becomes a rhetorical move to claim ownership over a powerful signifier which, ironically, is no longer grounded in any particular content.

Divided by Faith?

Divided by Faith?

Craig Martin, Religion Bulletin…..I am growing increasingly suspicious of this idea that people come to blows or “clash” over differences in belief or faith. I am of course in full agreement with the many anti-essentialist criticisms of the “clash of civilizations” thesis: there are no monolithic civilizations, and as such there can be no monumental “clash” between them (the last chapter of Chiara Bottici’s A Philosophy of Political Myth contains a particularly good version of this criticism). But this is not what I’m angling at here. What bothers me is the very idea that people fight over “beliefs” at all, monolithic or not.

Occupy Wall Street: Between “Church” and “Sect”

Occupy Wall Street: Between “Church” and “Sect”

By Ben Brazil, Religion Bulletin….
A month ago, when the Occupy movement was beginning to gain traction, Matt Stoller penned an influential response to criticism about the movement’s lack of a clear, concise message. The critics, he wrote, had failed to notice the religious nature of what was going on in Zuccotti Park. He explained: “What these people are doing is building, for lack of a better word, a church of dissent. It’s not a march, though marches are spinning off of the campground. It’s not even a protest, really. It is a group of people, gathered together, to create a public space seeking meaning in their culture. They are asserting, together, to each other and to themselves, ‘we matter’.” The idea of a “church of dissent” did not only interest me – it positively attracted me.

Going to a Tea Party with Paul Revere and Jesus

Going to a Tea Party with Paul Revere and Jesus

By J.F. Sullivan….
This has been an odd year for history, politics and religion. While Sarah Palin has provided the media and the rest of the country with many gems, the recent spate of mangled metaphors has illuminated what appears to be something of trend, if not a new strategy when history and religion are combined. The development of alphabetic literacy (writing with vowels) by the ancient Greeks allowed speech to be directly represented. As a result, reality could be recorded, communicated and preserved in this new form. While originally intended to aid in memory and recall, it instead helped to create a repository (books and scrolls) where information could be stored, not only preserving it, but eventually creating a collection that exceeded anyone’s ability to memorize. By writing something down, it indeed preserved it, but it also allowed the possibility for comparison, which helped to create the concept of history as fact.

The Day I was Called a "Sand Nigger" by a Tea Party Follower!

The Day I was Called a “Sand Nigger” by a Tea Party Follower!

By Teo Sagisman….
The “N” word, one of the vilest and most disgusting words in English language! Every American knows not to use it to address anyone unless they mean to denigrate their target. It has been over a year since my encounter with the man who called me a “sand nigger,” and yet, it seems like yesterday. I was reminded of the incident the other day when I read about the story of an e-mail which included a photo-shopped image of President Obama’s face superimposed on the body of a baby chimpanzee. This email was created and distributed by Marilyn Davenport, a 74-year-old Tea Party activist and a GOP official from Orange County California.

The Good News of Star Visitors, Part I

The Good News of Star Visitors, Part I

By Kenny Smith….
The Star Visitor races who have commented on the concept of God… uniformly affirm that they, too accept the reality of what Earthlings call God. However, the God they affirm is not the anthropomorphic or patriarchal figure of many Earth religions, but more of a Supreme Source – a transcendent matrix of Consciousness, which underlies everything, and is that which gives essence and specificity to everything, which in turn is a partial manifestation of the Supreme Source. In more experiential terms, the Star Visitors have taken experiencers [those with have had first-hand contact with ETs] and shown them God. The experiencers typically described being in the presence of intense, overwhelmingly brilliant light from which emanates incredibly intense love, such that the experiencer feels lost in the infinite love.

Gunfight at the…Our Lady of Peace?

Gunfight at the…Our Lady of Peace?

While others can ponder the social and theological implications of the law, there is a religio-political aspect of this law that seems to have been overlooked—holy ground. The concept of the church functioning as holy ground or sanctuary has been around for as long as the concept of sacred space.