Sunday, May 14, 2006


Progressive Faith Blog-Con 2006 Carnival

Alhamdulillah! Carnival is upon us! A big thank you to all the people who let me use their links, both solicited and otherwise.

The Green Knight leads off with a wordless post.

I had no theme in mind for this edition of the Carnival, but as I browsed the ProgFaith blogroll and blogs of friends, themes emerged. Probably to no-one's surprise, one of them was poetry.

Baraka has started a tradition of Poetry Monday posts. This one features Czeslaw Milosz, the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai. What more could you ask for at the end of the world?

Tip of my hat to fellow Stumptown resident Dale who sends a lovely poem for a friend in motion.

Sadiq, in his quiet, reflective way, offers us
a poem, some thoughts and a prayer on the subject of That which cannot be described.

Aiman writes a moving poem that begins with tumultuous waters and ends with surrender.

From the Integral Options Cafe comes
a set of three poems by Dogen, with accompanying fall foliage.

At Ministrare I find an inspiring poem by Mary Oliver and a very dramatic photo.

Maliha has written us some gentle yet profound questions in verse.

Poetry often suggests music lyrics, or vice versa. Kevin brings us both, with his translation of Karagolan, exegesis of the lyrics, and performance of same. Don't miss listening to the audio.

Meanwhile, Chris Tessone writes (all too briefly) about
blues and spirituals and theology.

This section closes with a welcome to new blogger Brian, who posts reflections on his last 30 days.

To me, poetry is an activity that lies very close to, and sometimes overlaps with, prayer. Prayer (defined somewhat loosely) is the subject of the next section. We begin with Reverend Mommy's morning prayer, as bracing as a strong cup of coffee.

Pearlbear meditates on Earth Day and adds a couple of poems for good measure.

At SpiritBlog there's a lovely piece about patience including a prayer.

Prayer, in turn, leads to the subject of work. What is work? Beside the conventional sense of what we do for a living, there's work we do for ourselves, work we do for our families and communities, work we do for God—of which prayer can be part. So here is Stephanie Anagnoson's prayer about work.

From Baraita comes a post that makes the connection between prayer and several kinds of work.

Ideally, our different spheres of work coincide, so that effort spent in one realm helps maintain others. One who seems to have gotten it that way is the Velveteen Rabbi, Rachel Barenblat. She walks her talk as a hospital chaplain.

Someone else who's at least close to there (whose blog I'm less familiar with, so my impression may not be reliable) is the Feminarian. How could you not like a woman who gives her first sermon in a birthday crown?

Nurelhuda writes about the connection between faith and good works in everyday life.

For most of us, different spheres compete for our time and energy. Fellow Oregon resident Jeanette writes about
managing this competition.

In the worst case, competing spheres may pull us in morally opposing directions.
Dr. Bruce Prescott writes about prayer and conscience. Click through to read the full article.

thinkBuddha reassures us that our work need not be perfect, as long as it's improving. (And throws in a poem by Gary Snyder for good measure.)

Work of most kinds tends to involve us with other people. This can lead to the formation of the dreaded Committee. Slyypper offers some suggestions for rendering committees less painful for those involved.

Further insight into institutional dynamics comes from the Unitarian Universalist, whose comments about the organization of liberal churches ought, I think, to find much broader application. Be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2.

And at Philosophy Over Coffee, a tongue-in-cheek commentary on gender dynamics.

Working around other people can lead us to consider ourselves more closely. Who are we, anyway? How do others see us? Bobbe offers us an outsider's perspective.

Jesus Was A Liberal (may Allah be pleased with him) (I mean Jesus, not the blogger) writes poignantly about the views children have of people around them.

If you've undergone, or are undergoing, a change in faith, you may find people's attitudes towards you shifting as a result. The folks at Other Matters have
some advice to offer on the subject.

I wrote in the lead-up to today's carnival: “at times you have suffered the wearing of a label, and at other times you have embraced it." Several of my posters address the use of religious labels.

Umm Zaid argues in favor of reclaiming a label that has acquired hateful connotations.

The Christian Revisionist, in turn, explains why he's chosen to re-label himself.

Sume writes about her struggle with the hijab, one of most visible and controversial forms of labelling.

Meanwhile, from the Synablog comes a different and not so black-and-white look at religious identity.

As we study the groups in which we live and work, and study ourselves, we circle back to studying religion. Why? The Xpatriated Texan reminds us that religious decisions don't have to impinge on foreign policy to be matters of life and death.

Howie Luvzus quotes his friend Mike to remind us all that ignorance of religion-- both our own and others-- can be dangerous.

Mata offers the carrot to his stick by mentioning something she's gained from studying another religion.

The Grateful Bear comments on this month's hot topic: the Gospel of Judas. Click through to read his article and find out why it may not be such a great thing after all.

At Religion and Society, there's some discussion of why Jews, as a minority religion, might find it useful to study variant Christian texts like the Gospel of Judas.

And my beloved Todd reviews a book and speaks to the difference between religious study and studying God, Who created us to know Him.

Last word is the host's prerogative. If you've been reading this blog for some time, you probably know that I can't resist a good fish story. So read here and then read on...

Fisherman Dragged To Death By 150-lb Catfish
“I’ll make you fishers of men," he said.
Never thought it’d come to this—
hooked something I couldn’t handle, fell in the water
now I’m being dragged under.
I didn’t know what I was signing on for
but I’ll hold fast, come what may—
my hook’s in God’s mouth, and He pulls hard.

Subhan'Allah. This concludes this week's edition of the Progressive Faith Blog Carnival. If you enjoyed it, go over to the ProgFaithCarni homepage and offer to host. If you didn't enjoy it, volunteer to do a better job.

Progressive Faith Blog-Con 2006 Carnival

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