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By Sharon Browning August 21, 2014

Courtney Martin's column on reckoning inspired this unexpected campaign on telling our own stories of privilege.

By Barbara Becker August 10, 2014

In a society uncomfortable discussing death, a new museum in Brooklyn is taking up the charge. Barbara Becker offers her perspective on the exhibition, "The Art of Mourning."

By Gloria Jean Bubba June 07, 2014

A daughter shares this meditation on the grief and the loss that comes slowly from losing her mother to Alzheimer's disease. Through the story of Gethsemane, she finds an uncomfortable solace and a quiet rebuke for falling asleep while waiting.

By Trent Gilliss July 09, 2013

With his "heart full to bursting," Egyptian-American poet Yahia Lababidi writes a short poem for his native homeland.

December 03, 2012

Memorials in Berlin and New York remind us to pray for those who have no one to pray for them.

October 06, 2012

Could the concerns of Jewish and Muslim minorities in Berlin serve as a chance for "secular" Berliners to to examine their own identity? Guest contributor Brian Britt explores the role of history as a distraction challenging modern-day civility.

September 13, 2012

A joyful lamentation over sealed spaces and the lessons Rosh Hashanah — and the High Holy Days — teaches when we have access to the gifts of our natural environment.

August 24, 2012

When Jews sing a niggun, Ethan Press writes, this wordless Jewish melody brings the singer into ecstatic union with the Divine.

August 13, 2012

A doctrinal framework that's fallen out of favor may be the best hope in giving Christian's faith a structure and a language they can articulate.

July 02, 2012

The word "selah" in the biblical Psalms helps one woman reflect and listen to the song before her — whether in verse or in place.

June 27, 2012

A story of a young woman who put down her digital ways and learned to slow down while living in a special community in Ireland.

June 10, 2012

An intimate video portrait of an artist who creates daily ritual by creating simple drawings with tea and ink.

June 06, 2012

Will black Mormons vote for Romney or Obama? Guest contributor W. Paul Reeve offers a historical perspective of African Americans in the LDS Church -- and the decisions they must make in a pivotal election year.

May 23, 2012

Book Cover (Cradling Monsoons)Your inner ear has fully formed.
You can hear now. I’ve heard
of mothers playing their unborn babies
Bach and Mozart because classical music
makes the brain’s spatial connections
arc towards one another like the fingertips
of Adam and God in the Sistine.

I’ve played no such music for you, and maybe,
some day, when the boy you pine for
is majoring in architecture
or when your brain goes cloudy
as you stare at your pop quiz in geometry,
you’ll hold this against me.

May 18, 2012

“The more important thing which spoke to me — above love and all that — was that I had to live for my own identity. I wanted to stand on my own two feet and do what was right, regardless of any social pressure.”

Thirty-four years after he first defied India's caste system to "marry up," a Jain man talks about the perseverance and difficulties of marrying outside his caste in India.

May 16, 2012

Rally Protests Religious Profiling Of Muslim Communities In New YorkPolice keep watch as Muslims rally in Foley Square during a protest of ethnic profiling by law enforcement in New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

As the American public reads of yet another report released on governmental surveillance of Muslim American communities, it is refreshing to know that for the first time since the 9/11 attacks, the US Senate Judiciary Committee, along with various state legislatures and federal agencies, are directly addressing long-held public concerns about racial and religious profiling — a practice within law enforcement that relies solely on race, religion or ethnicity to determine possible criminal activity. With these recent developments, could we finally be seeing the beginning of the end of racial and religious profiling in America?

May 13, 2012

In the Sikh faith, the role of the nurturer is one, among many, of the celebrated roles of all Sikhs, regardless of gender.

April 27, 2012

Banned Muslim Brotherhood CandidatesA composite photograph of Egyptian Salafist presidential candidate Hazem Abu-Ismail (left), Khayrat al-Shater (center), and former Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman. Egypt’s election commission said on April 14, 2012 that the three men were among ten candidates barred from running for president. (Photo by Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)

The battle over Egypt’s democratic future is at a significant crossroads. But while the fight for succession to Mubarak’s throne is fully under way, the rules of the competition seem to be constantly changing.

April 25, 2012

A profile from Delhi, India of a young Hindu woman who becomes an Evangelical Christian in secret. She shares how she struggles to adhere to her family's expectations to conform to local traditions, caste, and culture -- and remain devout to Jesus.

April 23, 2012

Oklahoma from the RoadThis past Sunday, I had the great pleasure of sitting next to Mary Emeny at a dinner in Amarillo, Texas where we were showing highlights of Ken Burns’ upcoming film, The Dust Bowl. Mary, I later learned, is prominent in the arts and environmental communities in Amarillo. When I asked someone else at the table what Mary did, she responded, “She makes Amarillo worth living in for the rest of us.”

During our chat, Mary spoke about her trips to Vietnam as a young woman and, specifically, her work with Buddhist monks there on behalf of Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Buddhist monk. (Vietnam came up because Ken Burns is working on a film about the war in Vietnam.)[[MORE]]

April 19, 2012

Shoah: a Table of Elements

“The trade of chemist (fortified, in my case, by the experience of Auschwitz), teaches you to overcome, indeed to ignore, certain revulsions that are neither necessary nor congenital: matter is matter, neither noble nor vile, infinitely transformable, and its proximate origin is of no importance whatsoever. Nitrogen is nitrogen, it passes miraculously from the air into plants, from these into animals, and from animals into us; when its function in our body is exhausted, we eliminate it, but it still remains nitrogen, aseptic, innocent.”
—Primo Levi, The Periodic Table

The Holocaust represented a contradiction in perception: ordered, regimented evil and unrestrained, billowing pain. For decades, artists have sought to capture the ineffable destruction that befell the Jewish people.

April 17, 2012

blue skies bring tearsPhoto by Ibrahim Iujazen/Flickr, cc by-nc-sa 2.0

In his Time magazine article, “Heaven Can’t Wait,” Jon Meacham contrasts two seemingly competing visions of heaven in contemporary Christianity. One prominent view envisions heaven as the ethereal place one goes when one dies. Images of winged angels, celestial music, golden thrones, pearly gates, and streets of gold variously occupy this vision of the hereafter. Heaven is conceived of as a future paradise of eternal rest filled with peace, light, and love. Everlasting life is seen as an eternal abode in the heavenly realm with God and the angels.

April 14, 2012

MOVIE REVIEW
The documentary Rites of Passage by Jeff Roy follows a 42-year-old practicing Muslim and Indian transgender to Bangkok for gender reassignment surgery and puts her Islamic faith and ethnic identity at the center of the journey.

by Emily Frost, guest contributor

Maya Jafer

When Jeff Roy first met Maya Jafer in Los Angeles, he had prepared a long list of questions. But he barely got in one; Jafer had finally found someone with whom she could share her story.

Ms. Jafer, a 42-year-old transgender woman and a practicing Muslim from India, spent the next hours detailing a cultural and religious background that never accepted her and describes a personal journey full of upheaval. Mr. Roy, who had never made a film, decided Jafer’s story needed to be told.

April 08, 2012

Physicists have long sought to describe the universe in terms of equations. Now, James Gates explains how research on a class of geometric symbols known as adinkras could lead to fresh insights into the theory of supersymmetry — and perhaps even the very nature of reality.

April 07, 2012

A thoughtful guest essay on Easter not just being about Jesus' resurrection but Mary Magdalene too. Take three minutes to listen and read.

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