Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
Per Ed's request, I'm posting a copy of the paper I just submitted for the upcoming IT Conference. I only had 3 days to work on it, so I ended up rushing on it and I'm not entirely satisfied with the end. I went in the general direction I wanted, but in the presentation I'll definitely try to clarify my proposal more and provide more concrete suggestions. If you've read some of my old blogs, you'll see (in the interest of time, since I had so little of it; and also in the spirit of Wilber!), I've used material from some of them to flesh it out ... but there is still a good bit of new material in it!
Technically, this paper is not supposed to be published anywhere. I don't think a forum really counts as "publication," but just in case, I'll leave it up only for a short time. You will find it attached below.
P.S. I have removed the attachment and replaced it with a link (above) to the pdf of the paper which is posted on the ITC website.
Rabbi Eric Yoffie has an interesting piece in the Huff Post called "Why interfaith dialogue doesn't work, and what we can do about it." An excerpt:
I have been participating in interfaith dialogue as a rabbi and Jewish leader for more than 30 years, and most of the time it just doesn't work.
Most of the time -- and it is painful for me to admit this -- it is terribly boring. Most of the time there is a tendency to manufacture consensus, whether it exists or not. Most of the time we go to great lengths to avoid conflict. Most of the time we cover the same ground that we covered last month or the month before. And far too often we finish our session without really knowing the people across the table and what makes them tick religiously.
Meaningful dialogue happens when the conversation turns to our religious differences. Platitudes are set aside when, as representatives of our faith traditions, we cease to be embarrassed by the particular; when we put aside the search for the lowest common denominator that most often characterizes -- and trivializes -- our discussions; and when we recognize that absent a clear affirmation of who we are, how we are different and what we truly believe, all our conversations are likely to come to nothing.
Interreligious dialogue truly touches us when we can discuss what we all know to be true but what we rarely say: that, in some ways at least, we all believe in the exceptionalism of our own traditions. We all tend toward the conviction that there are some elements of our religious beliefs and practice that stand above and apart from what other religions offer, and it is liberating when we are able to acknowledge this and then explain why we think that way, without apology but open to the honest reactions of those around us.