Subject: Religious Passion, Pluralism, and Youth.
I'd like to recommend two websites related to radio and TV this week.
#1. Speaking of Faith
A 30-year-old, Indian-American Muslim and former Rhodes Scholar is setting out to change the way young people relate to their own religious traditions and those of others. Al-Quaeda is the most effective youth program in the world, he says, and we neglect this work at our peril.
[emphasis is mine]
#2. Bill Moyers Journal Interview with
past president of The American Academy of Religion. Winner of the National Humanities Medal. Recipient of 72 honorary doctorates and admiral in the Nebraska Navy. Was one of the leaders of a project on the child in law, religion and society at Emory University in Georgia and that brings us to his book, THE MYSTERY OF THE CHILD, drawing on literature as new as today's poetry and as old as the Bible. Martin Marty encourages all of us to maintain the child's openness to wonder as we grow old.
#1. "Speaking of Faith"
If you are in NYC area, you can hear the radio broadcast on WNYC at 3 p.m. Saturday or 10 p.m. Sunday.
But do visit the webiste.
Related and IMPORTANT reading:
Guest Eboo Patel calls al-Qaeda the most effective youth organization in the world.
But contrary to the wisdom of secular society, he's working to deepen rather than tame the religious energies of the young across many traditions. And he believes this may be our only chance for survival. . . . .
Eboo Patel is the founder and executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core in Chicago.
Patel asked young people for quotations from their faith which inspires them. Results included:
Sura 93, the Surat Ad-Dhuna (The Morning Hours, Morning Bright) [Sura = "Chapter of the Qur'an."] :
By the Glorious Morning Light,
And by the Night when it is still,—
Thy Guardian—Lord hath not forsaken thee, nor is He displeased.
And verily the Hereafter will be better for thee than the present.
And soon will thy Guardian—Lord give thee (that wherewith) thou shalt be well-pleased.
Did He not find thee an orphan and give thee shelter (and care)?
And He found thee wandering, and He gave thee guidance.
And He found thee in need, and made thee independent.
Therefore, treat not the orphan with harshness,
Nor repulse the petitioner (unheard);
But the bounty of the Lord — rehearse and proclaim!
For text/transliteration/original Arabic, see
The New Testament gospel of Matthew 25 contains several parables of Jesus. To many Christians, this passage serves as a key illustration of the Gospel's imperative to care for the poor and the needy:
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, "Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?' And the king will answer them, "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.' Then he will say to those at his left hand, "You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, "Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?' Then he will answer them, "Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Matthew 25: 31-46
"Tikkun Olam" work for the improvement of society.....(
literally, "world repair") has come to connote social action and the pursuit of social justice. The phrase has origins in classical rabbinic literature and in Lurianic kabbalah, a major strand of Jewish mysticism originating with the work of the 16th-century kabbalist Isaac Luria.
Contemporary usage of the phrase shares with the rabbinic concept of "mipnei tikkun ha-olam" a concern with public policy and societal change, and with the kabbalistic notion of "tikkun" the idea that the world is profoundly broken and can be fixed only by human activity.
#2. Bill Moyers had an excellent interview with historian and Divinity Professor Martin E. Marty about Marty's latest book: THE MYSTERY OF THE CHILD, which
explores what it means to be a child, to feel youthful and childlike, even in the twilight of one's life:
"I think that notion that you spend your life finding ways to change and become like a little child means you will be more open to mystery, more responsive to others, more receptive."
MARTIN MARTY: Soul is not a pilot on a ship. Soul is not a thing. Soul-- and here's Aristotle and Kass and me translating them-- (Soul) is the integrated, vital power of any organic body open to possibility and future.
[emphasis is mine]
Martin Marty made the important point that, whether one likes it or not, most of the world is very religious. (Always was? Always will be?)
Therefore, it's important to understand the world and religion. And to deal with it.
In response to people who say that if you just get rid of all religion the world would be benign and peaceful.
Martin Marty said:
Well-- my question is how do you explain Mao and Stalin and Lennon and all of the great totalitarians, all of whom set out to get rid of God and religion and killed several hundred million people. I'm not defending the religious record. There's horrible stuff out there. . . . ou're not going to get rid of religion. You can't suppress this impulse.
It's increasing not decreasing. . . . .
It's in the villages of the Islamic world. Every 7th person in the world was a Muslim 50 years ago. Now every 5th person is. It's growing. In sub-Saharan Africa-- 18,000 new Christians everyday.
You're not gonna have somebody sit up here on television and talk them out of it. So the issue, I change it-- to the question. Since we're not gonna rid of science or religion how do we find better ways to get along?. . . . .
Marty said fundamentalism is going to outnumber literate atheists by hundreds of thousands to one and he is all for defending ourselves against militant totalitarian forms of Islam ....But do NOT demonize "the other" in an increasing "Clash of Civilizations".....
Instead, in addition to alertness and defense, he talked about THE MYSTERY OF THE CHILD....and how we can learn and grow from it.
You can read the transcript, watch the show, explore the links at: