At the height of anti-Muslim sentiment during the Crusades, Saint Francis discovered the divine mystery of universal brotherhood: Islam too was part of God's pleasure. In our post 9/11 world, Saint Francis is an example of inter-religious dialogue that I hope we can all rediscover.
What if the faith of others isn't a challenge to the legitimacy of your own, but an invitation for you to be a better Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc? In this wonderful book, Barbara Brown outlines how her faith has changed since stepping down from being an Episcopal priest to teach a world religions course.
Krister Stendahl, the former Lutheran bishop of Stockholm, Sweden performed an act of such grace to Latter-Day Saints during the dedication of the Stockholm temple. I think Latter-Day Saints could learn a lot in our approach to those from other faiths, and I would hope could also find moments of holy envy in our own lives.
Christians cannot give into the temptation to explain suffering away-- as a growth experience, or as punishment for sin, or otherwise. Wolterstorff writes this book while grieving the loss of his son in a tragic climbing accident. His faith in God and his loss-- "I cannot fit these pieces together. I am at a loss." Yet faith remains.
Imagine a dystopian society where corporations run the world. Ah, crap. Wu gets his trustbusting on with this exceptional take on how the economic becomes the political. Competition, not non-intervention should be the supreme value of markets. Concentrated power of any form, including economic, is a threat to democracy.
Coming from a Latter-Day Saint perspective, some aspects of Paul may not fit into our cookie-cutter Sunday School version of the gospel, but his vision of a unified church across cultural boundaries is more relevant than ever.
Increasing political polarization, politicians that don't listen, and violence in the streets? Described as "devastatingly relevant", Berlin is a fantastic piece, and there are more than a few elements that seem eerily familiar to the present. Cliche comparisons aside, this fantastic piece in the genre of the graphic novel captures not just the events but the feel of living in 1920s Germany.
OK, so I originally read this book out of a feeling of self-importance (we engineers virtually made the modern world as you know it, y'know), but it actually leaves you feeling humbled with an appreciation for the imperfect as well as the ultra-precise.
Lewis and Chesterton were both authors that helped me realize that my own religious tradition doesn't have a monopoly on truth. Abraham Heschel (and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks) has helped me expand that sphere a little further into the Jewish tradition as well (if you have any recommendations from other faith traditions, please let me know).... Continue Reading →