Five Approaches to Interspirituality


Brother Wayne Teasdale, author of The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World’s Religions and A Monk in the World: Cultivating a Spiritual Life, coined the new word “interspirituality.” Sort of a mash-up between “interfaith dialogue” and “spirituality,” interspirituality refers to the possibility or practice of integrating...

“It Cracks Up the Archangels Every Time!” (“Because They Have No Taste in Comedy!”)


I read lots of serious books: books about Christian theology, spiritual direction, the history of mysticism, and the psychology of meditation… that sort of thing. I’m not complaining — I love pretty much everything I read (actually, at this point in my life and career, if I don’t love it, I quickly stop reading it, because there’s always something else clamoring for my...

The New “My Sweet Lord” Video is Lots of Fun, But Misses the Point of the Song


Last week, the George Harrison estate released a new, “official” video for Harrison’s 1970 masterpiece, “My Sweet Lord” from his magnum opus All Things Must Pass. It’s a playful and fun video, with a  kind  of goofy X-Files plot, featuring a star-studded cast (Mark Hamill, Fred Armison, Vanessa Bayer, Weird Al Yankovic, Rosanna Arquette, Joe Walsh, Kate...

Where Do You Draw the Line: Discerning Appropriate Boundaries for Interspiritual Practice


I recently received a letter from a reader of this blog who grew up an evangelical Baptist, and when to a conservative Christian school, the kind of place where if you doubted that God created the world in seven days, people were worried for the state of your eternal soul. As an adult, he discovered Christian mysticism and writers like Richard Rohr (and yours truly), and opened up a new dimension...

Inter-Religious Spirituality and the Contemplative Renaissance: How Other Faiths Helped Christians Rediscover Our Spiritual Heart


Christianity has a long history of contemplative practice. But many scholars and spiritual teachers within the faith recognize that in the centuries immediately preceding and following the Reformation, the church (at least in the west) largely lost its contemplative heart. Theologian Robert Davis Hughes III addressed this topic in his…... Read more at Patheos

In the Beginning Was the Tao…


Ken Leong, the author of The Zen Teachings of Jesus, posted this on Facebook the other day: I was having a conversation with a group of American Christians. I told them that in the Chinese version of John’s Gospel, the WORD was translated into “Tao.” They asked me for the definition of the Tao. I replied that the Tao cannot be defined and they laughed. Apparently they...

The Contemplative Story of Dear Prudence


I love the Beatles, and like many Beatles fans, I think The White Album is one of their great masterpieces. And one of the best songs on The White Album is, without question, “Dear Prudence.” But did you know that the song was influenced by the music of the Gypsies, Transcendental Meditation, and the daughter (and sister) of Hollywood celebrities? “Dear Prudence” was...

How Mysticism is Unique — and Universal


How, exactly, does Christian mysticism relate to all the other “mysticisms” of the world (Kabbalah, Sufism, Taoism, Vedanta, Zen, etc.)? A reader of this blog writes: I have been reading your Big Book of Christian Mysticism: on page 64 you say that “Ultimately … no absolutely clear distinction can be drawn between Christian and non-Christian mysticism.” This concerns...

Embracing Depth and Diversity: a Contemplative Approach to Interspirituality and Religious Commitment


Autumn in Georgia is a mild and lovely season, marked by golden sunlight, cool mornings and temperate days. And even if we can’t boast the shock of gorgeous color that grace the trees in states like Vermont or Minnesota, we have enough yellow poplars and white oaks and other trees to remind the Georgia Pines that winter is coming. The first year of my formation as a Lay Cistercian, the colors at...

A List of Books for Buddhist-Christian Dialogue


Are you interested in exploring the richness of dialogue and interspiritual practice between Christianity and Buddhism? If so, then here’s enough literature to keep you going for a while. Each of the books on the following list has some sort of connection with both Christianity and Buddhism. Some of these titles are academic studies, some the writings of monastics, others geared toward the...



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