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Future Religious and Ethical Leaders Ask The Hard Questions — Together

December 7, 2010

by Chris Stedman from the Huffington Post “‘Thou shalt not’ might reach the head, but it takes ‘Once upon a time’ to reach the heart.” So said Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass, in a 2007 interview with The Atlantic. He might be right, but I can’t help but wonder: What if we could reach both the head and the heart?

State of Formation

It’s a question I asked myself many times over while writing my Master of Arts in Religion thesis on narrative and religion last year. Now, as the Managing Director of State of Formation, a new online forum for emerging religious and ethical leaders founded by the Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue and run in partnership with Hebrew College, Andover Newton Theological School and collaboration with Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, I am so excited about the content that has flooded the site in its inaugural week — and how our religious and philosophical academics are using both their minds and their hearts to enter into dialogue. Our initial group of nearly 70 contributing scholars contains Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Protestant (among them Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian and others), Hindu, Secular Humanist, Sikh, Agnostic, Greek Orthodox, Unitarian Universalist, Mormon, Evangelical Christian, Atheist and Lindisfarne participants. Some were born in the Bible belt; others grew up in places like Jamaica, Singapore, Japan, and Germany. They are gay and straight, liberal and conservative, religious and secular. Click here to read the full article