There are many people of faith who, upon maturing in their spiritual growth, become willing to view the stories that surround the origins of their religions as more allegorical than historical. Admittedly, it's perhaps more challenging to find Muslims who are open to this understanding about their tradition than Jews or Christians. My understanding is that those Muslims who do question the historicity of the their scriptures tend to become ex-Muslims. In these episodes we explore how the Qur'an was created. As with all ancient religions, there is always a bit of a chasm between what academia discovers through the historical process and what the faithful are taught to believe. Sometimes it gets tense.
More episodes from "Common Threads: An Interfaith Dialogue"
Blasphemy: Appropriate Responses Parts 1 & 2
53:14Armin Langer is a DAAD Visiting Assistant Professor at the Center for European Studies. Prior to joining CES, he was a Visiting Research Scholar at Brandeis University's Schusterman Center for Israel Studies in Waltham, MA, a Transatlantic Partnership on Memory & Democracy Fellow at the Center for German Studies at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and worked for the Center for Jewish Ethics at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, PA. His research interests are migration, identity politics and populism in Europe and the US. He is author of a monograph on German-Jewish integration, co-edited an anthology on Jewish-Muslim entanglements and published several articles in edited volumes and peer-reviewed journals, including the German Studies Review (SSCI, AHCI), Studi Irlandesi. A Journal of Irish Studies (ESCI) and Journal of Jewish Ethics (ESCI). He has received various prizes and grants, such as the Western Jewish Studies Association's Baron Award or the University of Notre Dame's Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism Grant. Armin holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the Humboldt University of Berlin. He also studied philosophy and Jewish studies in Budapest, Jerusalem, Potsdam, and Washington, D.C., and graduated with two M.A.'s and two B.A.'s. He was ordained as a rabbi by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and has had teaching and pulpit positions in Jewish communities in the US, Mexico, Sweden, Germany, Austria and Hungary.
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The Americanization of the Apocolypse Parts 1 & 2
55:45Eschatology (the study of end times predictions) has always fascinated me. I'm pleased that these 2023 episodes explain a great deal that I'm sure many of us did not know. Prof. Donald Akenson provides great details on how fundamentalist theology made its way from Britain and Ireland to these shores. This scriptural interpretation has been the cause of a great cacophony of imprecise prognostications that have left many Christians heartbroken and disillusioned. Yet, the beliefs continue...and continue..and, well, you know.
Follow Your Heartbreak Parts 1 & 2
55:49If you are a devotee of mythologist Joseph Campbell you know his mantra for years was "follow your bliss." In the proper context, this can be a wonderful aspiration. However, some may take it at face value and end up living a rather selfish, vapid existence. Fr. Adam Bucko turned this saying on its head by titling his book "Follow Your Heartbreak." By this he means that we can find great fulfillment by looking to serve those on the margins of society. Believe me, this is a man that has been walking his talk for ages. Listen to this and be inspire to be the change you want to see.
The Sacred Time of Sabbath Parts 1 & 2
55:10Common Threads is both honored and humbled to be named as the #1 podcast in the arena of interfaith. We are indebted to all of you who download, listen or otherwise support our efforts. You can see the list that includes other fine programs as well here:https://blog.feedspot.com/interfaith_podcasts/
As I Lay Dying: Conversation with One Who Has Been There Parts 1 & 2
1:00:02I am so pleased to have found yet another cassette tape in my basement from way back when that I'm thrilled to share. All signs point to these episodes being recorded in 2002. Fr.Richard Neuhaus, who died in 2009, was a force to be reckoned with in the conservative Catholic movement. He was the editor of 1st Things Magazine, a journal of social and religious right-of-center commentary. But we really didn't get into that sort of conversation. The focus here was on his book "As I Lay Dying." In recent times there have been more than a few books from Christians about personal experiences with their own death and some sort of afterlife journey. We've even talked about one such story that was embarrassingly debunked by the author years later (Episodes 12 & 13: I Did Not Die & Go to Heaven). But Fr. Neuhaus speaks with a sense of gravitas that compels you to listen, even though belief is another matter. I encourage you to give this a try.
Creating the Qur'an Parts 1 & 2
57:24There are many people of faith who, upon maturing in their spiritual growth, become willing to view the stories that surround the origins of their religions as more allegorical than historical. Admittedly, it's perhaps more challenging to find Muslims who are open to this understanding about their tradition than Jews or Christians. My understanding is that those Muslims who do question the historicity of the their scriptures tend to become ex-Muslims. In these episodes we explore how the Qur'an was created. As with all ancient religions, there is always a bit of a chasm between what academia discovers through the historical process and what the faithful are taught to believe. Sometimes it gets tense.
Good Death Auspicious Rebirth: End of Life Transitions in the Dharmic Traditions Parts 1 & 2
55:15Every once in a while there will be episodes about projects that I've been personally involved in. This is that. These 2023 conversations are with Dr. Frank Tedesco of True Dharma International. He produced and directed a documentary that is intended to advise caregivers and medical personnel on providing comfort to those adherents in the Dharmic religions (Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism) who are nearing the end of life. It is a very powerful and significant work. I am honored to have narrated this film. If the discussions here interest you enough, please go to https://youtu.be/7PCUviLdyw0 to watch the film in its entirety.
The Life of a Pilgrim Parts 1 & 2
56:24In the Hindu tradition there is the stage of life called Vanaprastha. It is when one retires from many family and professional responsibilities to dedicate more time to spiritual advancement. Our guest on these 2023 episodes is not Hindu, but Unitarian Universalist. Rev. W. Fred Wooden, and he is expressing this epoch in his life by pilgrimage. He has traversed the globe, honoring multiple religious traditions as he walks the well trodden paths of our ancestors. Fred is a longtime friend of mine. At one point in his ministry he had a radio show of his own: Faith & Reason. I was a frequent guest. When I was we called the episode "Common Freds." Much of our conversation here revolves around a recent pilgrimage he took in Japan. His reminiscences of that experience is recorded in the book "Basho and I Take a Long Walk."