Cross Currents

Articles from Spring-Summer

About the Cover Art: The Prayer Stick Series
Each morning before I begin to paint, I take a brisk walk through the park. During this winter, I began collecting sticks for no reason that I could name. When I returned to my studio I lit a candle and made my own charcoal with the sticks. As I drew...
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Akedah 5760
Does God find value in human agony? A few Rash Ha-Shanahs back, I heard a Rabbi deliver a High Holiday sermon entitled "The 'G' Word," which defended that Rabbi's decision to use the term "God" in public. As we begin the millennium -- though of...
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A Terrible Beauty: Moser's Bible
The bones do live. There's a certain surprise in seeing intelligence and mercy operate at long range; generally it seems that only massive bureaucratic acts of displacement and destruction can affect many lives at once. We notice goodness, more...
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Augustine Our Contemporary
Augustine still sheds light in all directions. I was asked recently to review a report on the decennial Anglican Communion's Lambeth Conference, which met in the summer of 1998. This particular conference was especially important for Christians...
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Between the Mystic and the Mainstream
Then numinous is not captive to religion. It can happen to me anywhere--and it does. It is a Saturday morning in early autumn. The light filtering into the synagogue is gentle, golden; the mood contemplative but charged with ruach, with spirit....
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Black Theology, Black Bodies, and Pedagogy
The black body has both economic and religious importance in North America. I have an interest in theologically thinking through what it means -- epistemologically, institutionally and ritually -- to be African American and religious. Much of my...
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Christianity, Shamanism, and Modernization in South Korea
In South Korea there is no modernization without Christianity and no Christianity without shamanism. There is no "official," nor one dominant, religion in South Korea. Shamanism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Christianity, as well as a whole spectrum...
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Contemporary Spirituality and the Thinning of the Sacred: A Hindu Perspective
The spiritual is not a diversion. "Know that whatever exists in this changing universe is covered with God." [1] So declares the first verse of the [bar{I}]sa Upanishad, one of Hinduism's oldest and most sacred texts. [*] For the past three thousand...
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Crossing the Currents, or How I Became a Jewish Postmodernist Feminist
A journey of the spirit begins in the reprint files of Cross Currents. Will you cancel your subscription when I confess that this long-time managing editor of Cross Currents did not originally apply for a job with the Association for Religion and...
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Fa Lun Gong and Religious Freedom
If 10,000 Buddhists sat down in Times Square without a permit, what would New York do? There has been a lot of media coverage lately of Zhong Guo's attitude toward political and religious freedom. Articles written for state television and papers...
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How Zen Found Me
Zen is neither East nor West: it is where you are. In September of 1991, I had a dream. In this dream, I am on the back of an open platform of a train which is about to pull out of a station in India. All my belongings, including my handbag with...
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Jewish Responses to Jewish-Christian Dialogue: A Look Ahead to the Twenty-First Century
How have Jews responded to Christian efforts to transform anti-Jewish positions? A retrospective glance at the twentieth century reveals one of the most devastating, challenging, and promising eras in Jewish history. Zionism, the Holocaust, the...
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Living with Paradox
As we planned this anniversary issue, we asked ourselves one question: How many questions are there? After hosting a roundtable discussion at the 1999 ARIL Consultation, badgering our friends, and accosting strangers, the editors at Cross Currents...
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Notes on Minor Christian Literatures
To see the similar in the dissimilar is the mark of poetic genius. One afternoon Ernst Bloch and Johann Baptist Metz were walking the streets of the city of Munster. As their conversation turned to political theology Bloch pointed to the three iron...
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Plus Ca Change: Has American Religion Changed during the Past Century?
American religious life is not only content, it is also a continuous process. In the year 1900, the United States had without question become a pluralistic society, at least in the minimal sense of possessing a population that had originated in...
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Re-Conceiving God and Humanity in Light of Today's Ecological Consciousness: A Brief Statement
We need to reorder human life in an ecologically responsible manner, if there is time. I An unspoken presupposition taken for granted throughout much Christian history has been that faith and theology are concerned basically with what we today...
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Sacred Spaces
Why build cathedrals if a street corner will do? Sacred space is today both more expansive and more dilute. People have widened their claim to worship in "nature" -- hiking a mountain, for example, rather than praying in a sanctuary -- to include...
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Sankofa: [*] Black Theologies
Diversity in black liberative theologies has grown over the years. The Civil Rights Movement was lauded by my parents: Negroes were making progress. As a teenager, I was more impressed by the development of Motown Records: now Negroes were making...
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Scarcity and Plenitude: Thoughts on Some Recent Jewish Books
Destroying illusions, creating realities. In his 1980 book The Night Sky of the Lord, Alan Ecclestone -- an Anglican clergyman writing to understand the Christian relationship to the fate of the Jews under Hitler -- offered as useful a working definition...
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The Academy and Hospitality
The concept of hospitality undergirds the very reason for the academy. A key virtue for the academy is hospitality -- the extension of self in order to welcome the other by sharing and receiving intellectual resources and insights. This intellectual...
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The Challenge of Fundamentalism for Interreligious Dialogue
Interreligious dialogue will never fulfill its unique mission until it recognizes fundamentalisms as conversation partners. Along with the rise of global interreligious dialogue, fundamentalism represents one of the most significant developments...
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The Church in the Age of the Holy Spirit
The Church authorities do not know what God wants of us. A prophetic Cistercian Abbot in Italy named Joachim of Flores foresaw in the early thirteenth century the total transformation of the Catholic Church and a new form of spiritual life in which...
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The Culture of Religious Combining: Reflections for the New American Millennium
The American religious experience has always been an encounter of multiple traditions. As I write these words, I have just completed co-teaching with B. Alan Wallace--former Tibetan Buddhist monk and now Tibetan Buddhist scholar--a quarter-long...
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The Dawn of Christianness
Is there Christ after Christendom and Christianity? Sunrise would not be dawn if nothing preceded it, nor would sunset be twilight if it did not yield to something else. They mutually suppose each other but are not identical. It is in this sense...
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The Dialogue Has Barely Begun
A look backward is also a look ahead. People have been kind enough to say that keeping Cross Currents alive all those years since 1950 was an achievement, but looking back at its beginnings offers as many reasons for embarrassment as for satisfaction....
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The End of Philosophy
Contemporary philosophers have given up trying to address the public. Imagine that American colleges and universities decide to shut down all graduate and undergraduate departments of philosophy. The first reaction of philosophers would understandably...
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The Future of Faith
Faith was there at the beginning--why not at the end? Faith has a future. This is, for me, a creedal declaration: of course faith has a future. It has a future precisely because it has so long and so unshakable a past; believing in something,...
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The Internet as a Metaphor for God?
The Internet provides humanity a new window through which to look upon the Infinite. In her ground-breaking study of human identity in the age of the Internet (Life on the Screen), Sherry Turkle reports that numerous computer users she has interviewed...
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The Post-Modern Re-Naming of God as Incomprehensible and Hidden
Rethinking God's reality in post-modern theologies. Post modern movements of thought, precisely as post-modern, have attempted to think the unthought of modernity. By calling into question the forms of modernity's central self-understanding, including...
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The Radical Christian Worldview
Radical Christianity is a form of radical humanism and it is focused on this world. Since 1960 I have been a priest in the Church of England, and I remain a priest in good standing. But though I still communicate with the Church, I no longer officiate...
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Vietnamese Buddhism in the 1990s
Engaged Buddhism is a source of liberation for Vietnam. Since July 1996, I have made three research trips to Vietnam to examine the 1960s Buddhist movement. In the process, I have discovered the great diversity, vitality and strength of Vietnamese...
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Wheat in Eden, Computers in Our Day
The ecological crisis is an index to changing relationships among God, humans, and all forms of life. When Jews of this past generation began to sense a deepening environmental crisis in earth-human relationships, and especially when they saw the...
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Whence Pluralism, Whither Denominationalism?
Differences themselves are a gift from God. I stumbled over the future of pluralism just last week. Literally. I tripped on a Muslim prayer rug tucked not quite far enough beneath a choir pew in the divinity school chapel at our university, where...
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Whose Earth Is It Anyway?
Connecting racism with the degradation of the earth is a necessity for the African American community The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, The world, and those who live in it. --Psalm 24:1 (NRSV) We say the earth is our mother...
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