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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Reading now: Interfaith encounters in America

Interfaith encounters in America, by McCarthy, Kate
New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, c2007. Book Description

From its most cosmopolitan urban centers to the rural Midwest, the United States is experiencing a rising tide of religious interest. While terrorist attacks keep Americans fixed on an abhorrent vision of militant Islam, popular films such as The Passion of the Christ and The Da Vinci Code make blockbuster material of the origins of Christianity. The 2004 presidential election, we are told, was decided on the basis of religiously driven moral values. A majority of Americans are reported to believe that religious differences are the biggest obstacle to world peace.
Beneath the superficial banter of the media and popular culture, however, are quieter conversations about what it means to be religious in America today--conversations among recent immigrants about how to adapt their practices to life in new land, conversations among young people who are finding new meaning in religions rejected by their parents, conversations among the religiously unaffiliated about eclectic new spiritualities encountered in magazines, book groups, or online. Interfaith Encounters in America takes a compelling look at these seldom acknowledged exchanges, showing how, despite their incompatibilities, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and Hindu Americans, among others, are using their beliefs to commit to the values of a pluralistic society rather than to widen existing divisions.
Chapters survey the intellectual exchanges among scholars of philosophy, religion, and theology about how to make sense of conflicting claims, as well as the relevance and applicability of these ideas "on the ground" where real people with different religious identities intentionally unite for shared purposes that range from national public policy initiatives to small town community interfaith groups, from couples negotiating interfaith marriages to those exploring religious issues with strangers in online interfaith discussion groups.
Written in engaging and accessible prose, this book provides an important reassessment of the problems, values, and goals of contemporary religion in the United States. It is essential reading for scholars of religion, sociology, and American studies, as well as anyone who is concerned with the purported impossibility of religious pluralism. Contents

Introduction -- Theories of religious difference : the "experts" map interfaith relations -- Strange bedfellows : multifaith activism in American politics -- When the other is neighbor : community-based interfaith work -- Intimate others : interfaith families making a space for religious difference -- Meeting the other in cyberspace : interfaith dialogue online -- Conclusion. What others say:
  • INTERFAITH ENCOUNTERS IN AMERICA. By Kate McCarthy. Review by MARTI, GERARDO, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 06/2008, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp. 334 - 336
  • Interfaith Encounters in America - By Kate McCarthy. Review by Sheveland, John N, Religious Studies Review,03/2010, Volume 36, Issue 1, p. 62
  • Interfaith Encounters in America, by Clydesdale, Tim, Contemporary Sociology, 05/2008, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp. 251 - 252
  • Interfaith Encounters in America, by Marti, Gerardo, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 06/2008, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp. 334 - 336
  • Wednesday, May 08, 2013

    I say religion, you say...The Canadian Press

    The Canadian Press I say religion, you say...8 May, 2013

    The Canadian Press hit the streets to learn what religion means to Toronto residents. Find out if their answers match the latest Statistics Canada survey, which shows almost one in four Canadians are turning away from organized religion.

    Sunday, May 05, 2013

    Core resources for the study of religious practices -- A select list

    Ps. This is a sample to show the diversity. Ask me for more specific resources.

    Saturday, May 04, 2013

    Faith-based news headlines of the week

    • COURTS: Sikh priests raped prostitute after she turned down sex demands  VANCOUVER DESI -- Two Sikh holy men face lengthy jail terms after being convicted of raping a prostitute in Glasgow, Scotland, reports a story in the U.K.’s Daily Record.
    • Aga Khan’s eldest son Prince Rahim to marry Seattle fashion model (with gallery) VANCOUVER DESI
    • Angry mob undresses woman and rip her clothing after she dressed provocatively, Your Jewish
    • Rabbi bans Orthodox Jewish men from taking blood donated by women, non Orthodox Jews, non Jews, Your Jewish
    • Abbotsford Hindu temple priest guilty of sex crimes on teen girls in his congregation VANCOUVER DESI
    • Narrative on Modi that will annoy supporters, detractors (Book Review) --READ: Kingshuk Nag's
    • APCO NaMo Namah: The Truth Behind Narendra Modi's ...
    • Interfaith Trialogue brings together the three Abrahamic faiths — Judaism, Islam and Christianity Richmond, VA. -area groups unite for conversation series, May 4, 2013 Richmond Times Dispatch
    • Multifaith has a place for everyone, BY TK BARGER, 5/3/2013 BLADE RELIGION EDITOR (Toledo, OH)  
    •  Church plans breast scans, Suffolk News-Herald -- Grove is America's only faith-based organization to be a flagship sponsor of the American Cancer Society, according to Marriner, and has raised more than 
    • Buddhist remains worshipped in Siva temples in Krishna district, The Hindu -- Remains of Buddhist sculptures are still being worshipped as Lord Siva in all the major temples within the radius of 10 km of Nidumolu village in Movva mandal
    • Islamic Culture And The Challenge Of Buddhist Fundamentalism, Sunday Leader -- -- In Sri Lanka, Bodu Bala Sena ('the army of Buddhist power') – the newest and crudest version of Sinhala nationalism – is up against Sri Lankan Muslims. ... Extract: When I heard about the Boston explosions I had many hopes. First, I hoped that my teacher, who is at Harvard, was safe. Second, I hoped no one was killed. Third, I hoped there was no any Muslim connection to the explosion. Finally, I hoped Boston, one of my favourite American cities, liberal, leftwing, cosmopolitan and intellectually bent, was not disrupted by any fundamentalist attacks, internal or external. I found out soon enough that my teacher was safe. Sadly, some people died, including an eight-year old boy – someone from my son’s generation. America has its own fundamentalists.
    • Sanctioning Redemption (Muslims in Burma and the killings) Brown Political Review
    • Burma Muslim Face Uncertain Future After Attacks, Time 

    Thursday, May 02, 2013

    Interfaith appointments and disappointments - Media monitoring

    • Interfaith disappointments by Mike Ghouse (Foundation for Pluralism) --Extract "The biggest disappointment in the interfaith world comes when your friends, who are usually rational in their approach to say this with ease, “These acts of terrorism are done in the name of Islam. I do not think the others were done in the name of Christianity etc. With the exception of Islam, other Religions variable accepts responsibility for the actions of their followers.”
    • Why the 'Interfaith Movement' Must Rebrand
    • Excluded by the Inclusion Cops, By  Mark Steyn (National Review Online) -- As some readers will know, I’ve fought a long battle in Canada to restore freedom of speech to a country that should never have allowed itself to lose it.
    • Can interfaith dialogue cure religious violence?  -- Four questions worth raising in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, By Lucia Hulsether, Salon. Extract: "1. What other dynamics of power move out of focus when celebrations of “interfaith cooperation” are brought to the fore?; 2. Does this appeal to “interfaith” trade in binaries?; 3. Is this interfaith project also an implicit nation-building project, and do I support it?; 4. What is the goal of this appeal to interfaith cooperation? Do I support it?"
    • $5 million gift from McGill alumni strengthens interfaith scholarship, McGill Reporter
    • Scottish Church to debate Jewish right to land of Israel, By Marcus Dysch, The Jewish Chronicle
    • ‘Jesus Prayers’ in Legislature Upset Florida’s Jewish Delegates: Can prayer in the name of Jesus be all inclusive just like a rabbi’s prayer? Jewish legislators in Florida say they don’t like being “JCd." Maybe they should get back at them with a few shofar blasts. By: Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu The Jewish Press
    • 3 Reasons Interfaith Efforts Matter More Than Ever, Eboo Patel, --Extract: "1. Interfaith helps harmonize people's various identities; 2. Interfaith efforts help us to separate the worst elements of communities from the rest; 3. Interfaith efforts remind us America is about welcoming the contributions of all communities and nurturing cooperation between them." 
    • A letter to the Spiritual But Not Religious (SBNR) @ Associated Baptist Press News
      "You are Spiritual But Not Religious (SBNR) and most of us talking about you all the time are Spiritual And Also Religious....  Instead of spending so much energy trying to repackage religion for the religious “nones,” maybe churches should focus on being faithful to God."
    • Muslim students meet Baptist hospitality: A Virginia Baptist pastor describes his church's opportunity to host Muslim students for a spring break service project a "Kingdom moment."
      By Barbara Francis (Associated Baptist Press News)
    • Facebook row head teacher should resign, say Leicester school staff
      Staff at a Leicester school are calling for a head teacher who made "inappropriate" Facebook comments to resign. Tim Luckcock, head at Uplands Junior School, posted a profile picture of himself wearing a turban and commented: "Nearly gone native in Leicester!!" BBC News
    • Muslim cleric refuses to attend inter-faith conference because Jews will attend, By Agence France-Presse -- Extract: "Influential  Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi boycotted an inter-faith dialogue conference that opened in Doha on Tuesday, rejecting to sit in the meeting also attended by Jewish representatives, a local daily reported.
       “I decided not to participate so I wouldn’t sit at the same platform alongside Jews who still violate Palestine and destroy mosques and as long as the Palestinian issue has not been resolved,” Qaradawi told the Al-Arab daily of Qatar.
    • The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Multi-Faith Clergy Council and the Church of Scientology International Host Character Education Training for Clergy
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