"Why It Is Important to Read the Difficult Parts of the Bible" by Philip Jenkins

Over the past thirty years, Western societies have repeatedly come into conflict with radical Islamist movements, to the point that many Americans regard the faith of Islam as almost synonymous with terrorism. Read More...
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Dialogue Between God and a Mortal (excerpt) THE TAO IS SILENT by Raymond M. Smullyan

Mortal:
   And therefore, O God, I pray thee, if thou hast one ounce of mercy for this thy suffering creature, absolve me of having to have free will!

God:
   You reject the greatest gift I have given thee?

Mortal:
   How can you call that which was forced on me a gift? I have free will, but not of my own choice. I have never freely chosen to have free will. I have to have free will, whether I like it or not!
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“Zen Freedom” by Tim Lott

There is a line in J G Ballard’s book The Atrocity Exhibition (1970) that strikes at the heart of the issue of free will versus fate. Ballard writes: ‘Deep assignments run through all our lives; there are no coincidences.’ It is an arresting line… Read More...
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"Why Doesn’t Asia Have Religion?" by Thomas David DuBois

Having spent the past 10 years writing and teaching on Asian religions, I now have something to confess:

Asia does not have religion. Read More...
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"Private "I," Private Property" (excerpt) THE TAO OF ABUNDANCE by Laurence Boldt

The primary or original consciousness, the Tao—the innate intelligence of the universe—is there all the while, whether we are aware of it or not. The man who has amnesia has not become someone else—he has simply forgot-1 ten who he is. Read More...
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"How Biblical Literalism Took Root" by Stephen Tomkins

Where does biblical literalism come from? What is the genesis, if you will, of the habit of mind that makes many Christians read the Bible with a different brain to the one they'd use with any other writing? Read More...
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"Christian Mysticism as a Threat to Papal Traditions" by Hayley E. Pangle

From the Gnostics of the second century to the Waldesians of the thirteenth century, popular religion as practiced outside the structures of the Roman Church challenged the religious authority of the papacy and greatly influenced the decisions it made as it refined doctrines, decrees, and practices that it deemed acceptable to the church. Read More...
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