On sacred spaces

Religiously Inclined

I recently watched the film “Kingdom of Heaven,” and I was struck by one of the final lines spoken by the character Saladin, a Muslim leader who battled to take over Jerusalem during the era of the Crusades. When questioned by Orlando Bloom’s character, Balian, a valiant defender of the
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Agnosticism, atheism and labels

Religiously Inclined

As is common in the religious world, the concepts of both agnosticism and atheism are unforgivingly complicated. Even the standard Google search does not adequately resolve inquiry into their basic definitions. My own attempts to tackle these two subjects were in fact quite humbling — I realized, once again, that
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Tolerance: the new god

Religiously Inclined

The truth is, I probably don’t agree with you. On one issue or another, I hold beliefs that fundamentally differ from those of my family members, roommates, other Cal Bears and fellow Americans. And this difference of opinion is the pride and joy of the American social makeup — we
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Hare Krishnas on Haste

Religiously Inclined

Among the throngs of eccentric members of the Berkeley community, one can often see — and certainly hear — bands of instrumented followers of the Hare Krishna movement. Their telltale sign is that they repeatedly chant variations of the words “Hare Krishna, Hare Rama.” Last Monday, one such devotee “fliered”
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Inspiration from prayer flags

Religiously Inclined

During a recent visit to UC Santa Barbara, I noticed, for the umpteenth time, Tibetan prayer flags hanging in the least likely of places: above a liquor store entrance or dangling from an apartment building with red cups littered in the background. Perhaps I am just oversensitive to these multicolored
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The spiritual approach

Religiously Inclined

Think about it: How many times have you heard someone proclaim some variation of “I’m not religious; I’m spiritual”? Every time this expression is used, I wonder to myself what it even means. This cliche has extended far beyond my Elephant Bar debates, and it is becoming an important subject of academic scrutiny.
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Jesus’ potential main squeeze

Religiously Inclined

A tiny scrap of papyrus is creating quite the buzz lately. Last Tuesday,  Harvard Divinity School professor Karen King made public the text of this tentatively authentic fragment, which includes an alleged quote from Jesus saying the phrase “My wife …” followed by, “She will be able to be my disciple.”
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Can we justify their anger?

Religiously Inclined

True to form, religion has once again taken center stage in the world arena. By now, the general premise of the protests in Libya, Egypt and beyond is well known, and special attention has been given to the death of U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens, a UC Berkeley graduate, here on
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