On What (Not) to Say and Write: Jesus in the Desert 3

Notre Dame, Indiana. When I was the Director of Harvard’s Center for the Study of World Religions (2010-2017), one of my favorite events was hosting discussions of new books by faculty, fresh and bright and often cutting edge writing by talented faculty at all stages of their careers.

In preparation for the book events, one of my favorite questions to the author was, How did you come to write this particular book? Given your expertise, the range of things you can write on, how did you narrow it down to the theme/s developed in the 200-300 pages of this book? The question was...

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An Angry Jesus for Our Times?

Charlottesville, VA. In today’s political climate, everything is taking on a hostile and confrontational tone. We are increasingly alienated, unable and unwilling to understand and respect one another anymore. Religious leaders, including priests like me, tend to say that we need to go back to the religious roots of respect, and in particular, to be and do as Jesus did, the great peacemaker, friend of the poor, friend of all.

Yes, that the nice Jesus is too easy a model. Jesus was also an angry man. This came home to me on...

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Caesar's Coin: The Very Little We Owe Donald Trump

Charlottesville, VA. I’ve been thinking about religion and politics, church and state, this week, and not just because the unending news from Washington forces people of faith to think about where their loyalties should be, given the current state of our government. Yes, I am one of those who cannot understand how some Christians find it necessary to support a man whose personal life and personal and political values are so distant from Christian faith and morals; conversely, I admire Christians like Bree Newsome, who in the...

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On Edge in Charlottesville

Charlottesville, VA. As readers of my first post may recall, I am spending much of this semester at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, where I will be giving lectures several weeks from now. I have been here over a month, but am still making sense of where I am.

October 6, just a few days ago, marked two...

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