Writings and observations

Communities, beloved and not

Asuggested reading for a reflective moment: An essay called “Beloved Community,” written by Portland Buddhist Sallie Jiko Tisdale about a series of meetings between people at the Dharma Rain Zen Center and students and instructors at the conservative Christian Multnomah Bible College and Biblical Seminary. The article appeared in the Buddhist magazine Tricycle in August.

It’s a thoughtful piece about two groups looking for ways to bridge their differences – an uncommon challenge since those differences are so very wide. They differ not just about policy and politics but about the nature of the cosmos.

There are some striking passages. There was this, from one of the Christian leaders:

“I like the word ‘orthodox’ better than the word ‘conservative,’” he says. “I find it hard to call myself a conservative because of the negative connotations.” One of Paul’s concerns is the significant difference between “theological conservatism” and the conservative politics with which it is usually associated. He mentions Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. “We agree on basic doctrine,” but it stops there. He adds, “It’s shameful to me, some of what they say.”

The effort at reacing out and listening sounds like a substantial educational effort in itself. A recommended read.

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