a new year, with new opportunities to banter around familiar clichés such as
"taking time on the journey," cultivating "spirituality but not religion" and
"going on retreat." Most of us agree that solitude is key to all of these
endeavors, and that solitude is a good thing.
I am among those called to lead people in confessing sin and announcing God's forgiveness in the Sunday liturgy, an essential action never altogether free from the threat of routinized going-through-the-motions. This action is anything but routine, however, when it occurs in the setting I described in my lectionary column for the Century on this week's Gospel lesson.
Most Bosnian Muslims living in America—Bosniaks, as they are called— immigrated during the Balkan wars, from 1992 to 1995. They don’t fit the stereotype of what a Muslim looks like. The women rarely wear the hijab, except for prayers. Bosnians blend into American society fairly well. Bosnian Muslims will often overhear other Americans speaking pejoratively about Muslims. When Bosniaks announce they are Muslims, coworkers and neighbors are shocked (Los Angeles Times, July 4).