This is a time of new beginnings. Here in Massachusetts, Spring is just beginning to spring. Easter is upon us. Baseball is back. The school year is drawing to a close, but that means that summer is just around the corner and already on the minds of most students, teachers, and professors.
It is especially a time of new beginnings for me, personally. Just one month ago, my son was born. Just one week ago, my comprehensive exams finally concluded, which means that the dissertation…Continue
Added by R. Brad Bannon on April 22, 2011 at 11:00am — No Comments
This will be a short post, partially due to the fact that I am overwhelmed with studies for comprehensive exams next month, and partially because there are already so many brilliant posts on SoF that I would encourage others to read those instead of my terse prose.
I want to reflect most briefly, however, on the news that Rev. Peter Gomes, the chaplain of Harvard Memorial Chapel, passed away yesterday (Monday). Two excellent obituaries have already been published by the…Continue
Added by R. Brad Bannon on March 2, 2011 at 11:34am — No Comments
What do ancient advaita Vedānta philosophical debates with Mīmāṁsakas and Buddhists over the relationship between perception and cognition and between universals and particulars have to do with State of Formation and with Republican-Democrat political debates today? I wager that even if you don’t give a lick about Hindu or Buddhist philosophy – or philosophy in general – you will still be interested in the discussion below.
This morning, I read a very interesting article by…Continue
Added by R. Brad Bannon on February 15, 2011 at 12:04pm — No Comments
I am part of a community of students in theology (http://www.theologysalon.org) exploring the question: Why theology? No doubt, we all have different answers to this question. I, myself, have more than one answer.
The largest and simplest answer (for me) is: Because I want to make the world a better place. It is not always clear – even to me – how theology can make the world a better place. Conversely, it is, unfortunately, often clear how…Continue
Added by R. Brad Bannon on February 4, 2011 at 12:00pm — No Comments
Lately, the hectic duties of life have rather overwhelmed me. Although I have thought about State of Formation often and tried to keep up with my reading of the other wonderful contributors to this site, I have struggled to formulate my thoughts into a blog entry. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been reading through a half dozen of Plato’s dialogues and sections of Plotinus’ Enneads. I have wanted to blog about them and I hope to do so soon. However, each time I devote some…Continue
Added by R. Brad Bannon on January 14, 2011 at 1:43pm — No Comments
I would guess that more than a few readers of the Journal of Interreligious Dialogue and likely several readers of SoF are familiar with the name Raimon Panikkar. Panikkar passed away in August of this year at the age of 91 (NYTimes obit and a tribute by Francis Clooney). His biography is nothing short of remarkable: born to…Continue
Added by R. Brad Bannon on December 13, 2010 at 10:21pm — No Comments
A reader of SoF emailed me with a link to a new blog post by Stephen Prothero entitled "My Take: Who owns Jesus? Who owns yoga?" The blog may be of interest to some of you since it touches on issues that we have explored in other SoF posts (including my own: Who ‘owns’ religious practice?).
One sentence in Prothero's blog strikes me as particularly problematic:
"Something is lost, of course,…Continue
Added by R. Brad Bannon on December 7, 2010 at 8:58am — No Comments
This post is somewhat of a follow-up of my last one (Proceeding along the aporetic path), though it may not appear so, at first glance. Both speak to the challenge of knowing what one should do, acknowledging that it is both intentions and results that matter.
We have mice. My wife and I do not like to kill things – I even feel guilty slapping a mosquito on my arm. At first we thought we’d just live with the mice. As time passed,…Continue
Added by R. Brad Bannon on December 6, 2010 at 10:49am — No Comments
A recent post by Honna Eichler explores a number of important issues that we might all benefit from contemplating more. Her reflections inspired me to write this post, which responds to the question with which she concludes: “Why you have stayed in religion or prefer to exist outside of it?”
At the risk of reduction and with the promise of brevity, my response is: I have remained involved in…Continue
Added by R. Brad Bannon on December 1, 2010 at 1:18pm — No Comments
There is an interesting debate brewing over yoga. The Hindu American Foundation posted an article entitled “Yoga Beyond Asana: Hindu Thought in Practice” on its website. The article seems primarily educational. It simply explains that there is more to yoga than āsana (posture) and prāṇāyāma (controlled breathing). These are but aspects of a robust philosophical, theological, and moral tradition. It does not…Continue
Added by R. Brad Bannon on November 27, 2010 at 6:53pm — No Comments
My last post, "Valid Sources of Knowledge," to my surprise, generated some very good discussions. Fellow SoF contributer James Croft has offered some well-reasoned and thought-provoking retorts to my positions. It seems to me that the discussion is bearing the fruits of this shared endeavor - we are not only describing our various states of…Continue
Added by R. Brad Bannon on November 26, 2010 at 10:45am — No Comments
I’ve tried to come up with good justifications for writing this post, knowing that more than a few folks will find it boring, lacking the excitement of another commentary on Lady Gaga, the familiarity of a personal anecdote, or the sensationalism of blogging on Michael Vick as a role model. The thing that I suppose I keep coming back to in my mind is that while I respect and appreciate most…Continue
Added by R. Brad Bannon on November 24, 2010 at 8:05am — No Comments