It's been a fantastic week in the progressive religious blogosphere, and we've got a great carnival for you today: reflections on worship, practice, religious visibility, social justice, politics, poetry, and more. Here's a sampling of what folks in our extended community have been saying.
(A quick note on how this carnival post came together. Only a couple of people sent me links to posts, so I spent some time reading my aggregator and browsing the Progressive Faith Blog Con blogroll. I wound up choosing eighteen bloggers to highlight this week. In Jewish tradition, the number eighteen represents life; I wish long and happy life to all who read this! And if you'd like to be featured next time, don't forget to email a link to the carnival host...)
Nacho of Woodmoor Village considers
watching the Oscars because of Jon Stewart.
Think Buddha offers reviews of Alister McGrath's The Twilight of Atheism and Sam
Harris's The End of Faith, "two diametrically opposed surveys of religion,
morality and history."
The Feminarian reflects
on the nature of Christian worship. "Two concepts in particular 'fence'
Christian worship for me," she writes. "[I]t must be Trinitarian, and it must be about,
to, and for God."
Reverend Mommy posts about
wearing a cross: the whens, wheres, and hows.
This is the first full week of Lent for those in Christian traditions, and that manifested in several blog posts. Even though his post went live a couple of days before this
week, I can't resist linking to Real Live Preacher's Ash Wednesday post, which describes
how everyone in his church administered ashes to one another (and how his
kids clowned around when the service was through). Beautiful and funny and
On a related note, Chris of Even the Devils Believe posts his
Homily for the First Sunday in Lent, which is beautiful. He has some
powerful things to say about what to give up, and what not to give up, in
order to open oneself to the radical teachings of the season.
And Beth of
The Cassandra Pages posts
about finding hot cross buns in Montreal, and the meaning of Ash
Wednesday for her.
Poor Mad Peter of Another Country posts about feeding the hungry, and about need,
Of Hunger. Of Loss. And he continues to explore themes of worship
experience, Biblical literalism, and liberal theology in
Strugglng, Part 2.
Dave at Via Negativa explores litter, found objects, and the natural world
I Love Trash. Don't miss the photos that illustrate the post -- I
especially like the one of the little toy pony.
Rev. Scott of
Boy in the Bands explores Helping
small non-Christian congregations with some hymnal suggestions.
The folks at No More Apples
explore the increasingly common practice of claiming that God backs one
politician or another in
Speaking For God.
Andrew of Semitism.net celebrates the spread of progressive values with Jewish Voice for Peace Goes National.
You'll find here his usual smart and cogent analysis of the
Israeli/Palestinian situation, as well as excitement about the possibility
of a new chapter of JVP...in my neighborhood!
Junaid Afeef at An American
Muslim Journal shares
A Muslim Layer's Defense of Publishing the Muhammad Cartoons, which
was also published at Beliefnet:
I am a Muslim. As a Muslim I am offended,
disturbed and dismayed by the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad that
first appeared in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September 2005
and subsequently in numerous European publications. I am also offended
by the whole brouhaha that erupted after the cartoons’ publication...
Despite my personal feelings about the cartoons, I am helping Acton Gorton,
the young man who reprinted some of these same cartoons in the Daily Illini,
a newspaper that serves the University of Illinois community in Champaign,
Illinois. I am Acton’s attorney...
On a semi-related note, Richard Silverstein of Tikun Olam posted recently (not quite within
the last week, but it's a great post, so I'm happy to include it) about
the Israeli Anti-Semitic Cartoons Contest.
"Why can’t we talk about it like we talk about any other subject that is
important to us? Why can’t we poke fun at the anti-Semites using their
own graphic weapons (big noses, horns, the works)? And most of all,
why can’t we poke fun at ourselves as Jews have done for millenia?"
And over at Radical Torah, Daniel Burstyn's post Mitzrayim explores how modern liberal Jews can find resonance in the current
string of Torah portions despite their challenging subject matter:
might seem to us that they don't deal with anything having to do with us
today, without a sacrificial cult. Most of us don't really pray for the
restoration of that cult. It seems primitive, messy. Nevertheless, these
parashot are Torah, so we must learn from them, we must find in them points
to cling to, stepping stones, just one small outcropping that we can then
stretch and shape, until we have found our way inside them and taken
ownership. We must examine them until we have found something within them
that speaks to us.
The folks at Healing Hagar have posted
By the Rivers of Babylon, the latest installment in a series of essays
about "recovering from fundamentalism."
Tiel Aisha Ansari of
Knocking from Inside posts
a poem she describes as "thoughts on the sufficiency of inspiration."
And of course, here at Velveteen Rabbi, I
posted a call for panel ideas. If you have thoughts about what we should
discuss at the Progressive Faith Blog Con, hop over to that post and let
That's this week's Progressive Faith Blog Con Carnival; thanks for reading. Next week's iteration will be hosted over at Blue Texas, so if you've got posts to submit, let the Blue Texans know.
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