Chris Stedman (Facebook, Twitter) is the Assistant Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University and the author of Faitheist: How An Atheist Found Common Ground with The Religious. He spoke to me on Religion For Life about coming out, his journey through religion, embracing atheism, and what he learned from his grandmother!
Religion needs an upgrade. Galen Guengerich, senior minister of All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in New York City has authored a book to help religion on its evolving journey. God Revised: How Religion Must Evolve in A Scientific Age engages the question of God. How to speak of God beyond supernatural theism.
This week I speak with the executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality (Facebook, Twitter), Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, and with Joe Hoffman, the senior minister of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Asheville, North Carolina. The campaign works for full equality for LGBT people across the South. Jasmine writes for Huffington Post and is the author of a collection of short stories called, Damn Love!
This week we explore what it means to be Amish from the perspective of a woman who left the Amish community as a young woman. Saloma Miller Furlong is the author of Why I Left the Amish and Bonnet Strings: An Amish Woman's Ties to Two Worlds. Through her personal experience of leaving the Amish we touch on the universal experience of being torn between the demands of personal authenticity and communal expectations.
What does changing diapers have to do with the Kingdom of God? Plenty actually! Andrew Taylor-Troutman, pastor of New Dublin Presbyterian Church in Dublin, Virginia, is the author of Parables of Parenthood: Interpreting the Gospels with Family. Andrew returns to Religion For Life to discuss how the parables of Jesus are about real life that includes the wants and needs of a one year old. When considered with head and heart both parables and parenting may surprise us into the Kingdom of God.
Is there a connection between patriarchal religion and gender inequality? P.J. (Paula) Fisk speaks with me about her journey from a patriarchal religion and "the plight of the female in a predominant male system of religion." She is the author of If God Is My Father, Who Is My Mother? A Spiritual Journey. Her journey will inspire others to think for themselves and find their truth.
Howard Zehr, Distinguished Professor of Restorative Justice at Eastern Mennonite University is known as the "Grandfather of Restorative Justice." He is the author of several books including, Changing Lenses: A New Focus for Crime and Justice (Amazon), and The Little Book of Restorative Justice (Amazon). He spoke to me about restorative justice and the criminal justice system.
Marcion is considered the "arch-heretic" of Christianity. He was said by an ancient critic to have "gnawed" scripture. He was the first to create a canon of scripture consisting of a version of Luke's Gospel and eleven letters of Paul. Professor Jason BeDuhn of Northern Arizona University has reconstructed this text and in doing so provides insight into the development of early Christianity. He is the author of The First New Testament: Marcion's Scriptural Canon.
I continue my series on early Christian history. The New Testament writing, Acts of the Apostles, has functioned as the earliest history of the church. But at most, it is "idealized history." Shelly Matthews of Brite Divinity School speaks about the rhetorical strategy of Acts in her new book, The Acts of the Apostles: Taming the Tongues of Fire (Amazon). She speaks with me on Religion For Life about how the author of Acts idealized Paul and tamed the egalitarian Jesus movement to make it more palatable to the elite reader.
We speak casually of "the Bible" and of "God" as if those words refer to specific entities that have a common definition. Stewart Harris, professor of law at Appalachian School of Law and the host of Your Weekly Constitutional (website, podcast, Facebook page, Twitter feed), argues that, particularly in a legal setting, this imprecision can lead to huge problems in regards to religion and public life. Join us for a fascinating discussion about bible, god, and law.