Spirituality in the News

December 23, 2014
New York Times - David Brooks

With Hanukkah coming to an end, Christmas days away, and people taking time off work, we are in a season of quickened faith. When you watch people exercise that faith, whether lighting candles or attending Midnight Mass, the first thing you see is how surprising it is. You’d think faith would be a simple holding of belief, or a confidence in things unseen, but, in real life, faith is unpredictable and ever-changing.

It begins, for many people, with an elusive experience of wonder and mystery.

The best modern book on belief is “My Bright Abyss” by my Yale colleague, Christian Wiman. In it, he writes, “When I hear people say they have no religious impulse whatsoever ... I always want to respond: Really? You have never felt overwhelmed by, and in some way inadequate to, an experience in your life, have never felt something in yourself staking a claim beyond yourself, some wordless mystery straining through word to reach you? Never?”

Read more    
October 28, 2014
New York Times - Konika Banerjee and Paul Bloom

On April 15, 2013, James Costello was cheering on a friend near the finish line at the Boston Marathon when the bombs exploded, severely burning his arms and legs and sending shrapnel into his flesh. During the months of surgery and rehabilitation that followed, Mr. Costello developed a relationship with one of his nurses, Krista D’Agostino, and they soon became engaged. Mr. Costello posted a picture of the ring on Facebook. “I now realize why I was involved in the tragedy,” he wrote. “It was to meet my best friend, and the love of my life.”

Read more    
June 26, 2012
Huffington Post - Philip Goldberg

I recently came across an essay by journalist Eric Weiner, the author of "Man Seeks God: My Flirtations with the Divine," in which he says, "We need a Steve Jobs of religion." In the piece, published last December in the New York Times, Weiner says we need "[s]omeone (or ones) who can invent not a new religion but, rather, a new way of being religious. Like Mr. Jobs's creations, this new way would be straightforward and unencumbered and absolutely intuitive. Most important, it would be highly interactive. I imagine a religious space that celebrates doubt, encourages experimentation and allows one to utter the word God without embarrassment."

It is an excellent idea, but my message to Eric Weiner is: We already have a "new way of being religious" and we don't need a Steve Jobs to invent it. It's been evolving for quite some time now.

Read more    

Pages