Faithful responses to work, family, and everyday life
I asked Michael's mother what it was like to say goodbye. "Oh, it wasn't much fun," she said. Then she told me what she put in the coffin.
We don’t know which experiences specify our humanity. But the Abrahamic faiths agree that we are made of dust and ashes, a bit of clay or a mere clot.
Benedict instructed that a novice's street clothes should be kept. Every morning for the rest of his life, the monk confronted two habits.
Religious communities have long helped cultivate humanistic practices. We don't often think of ourselves in this way—but what if we did?
I asked an older English woman who left the church long ago why she now wants to come back. Her response made the color drain from my face.
Stephanie Paulsell teaches at Harvard Divinity School.
Carol Zaleski is professor of world religions at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Samuel Wells is the vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London and author of Learning to Dream Again.
M. Craig Barnes is president of Princeton Theological Seminary and author of The Pastor as Minor Poet.
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