Speaking in Tongues

Last week we had our faculty development seminar up at Auburn (which I enjoyed leading with Lucinda Mosher.) We had faculty from ten seminaries participating, and looking at the question: "What do we teach about the 'religious other' and why?"

In addition to sharing ideas on how we teach, we went together to the Lotus Fire Zen Temple to speak with Sensei Shugen Arnold, shared a morning with Muslim physician and lay religious leader Dr. Faiz Khan, and went to B'nai Jeshurun for Kabbalt Shabbat. One of the best features of the group was the religious diversity - particularly the presence of two Pentacostals, an Orthodox rabbi (Tsvi Blanchard) , and one prof who teaches at Illif who is a devout atheist.

Although I resonate with the mystics, I think that it is important to point out that religions do not teach the same essential truths - take the following contrast:

One of the pentacostals spoke a bit about 'speaking in tongues' - and the role of 'not knowing' - of not having a rational/logical spiritual practice, but rather an ecstatic, out-of-body encounter of God. Sensei Shugen's practice is the exact opposite - a somber silence that speaks to the knowing of enlightenment.

On Monday I stopped by Village Thrift in Philly - vinyl acquisitions include: Jimmy Swaggart on piano, Ukranian Comic Songs, Partridge Family, and Lawrence Welk. The Ukranian LP is in Ukranian - with song titles 'Matchmakers in Saloon' and 'Party at the neighbors.'