A Life of thinking globally, acting locally, and seeking peace internally.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New Year, New Directions

Journaling the Journey

Knowledge about religion is not spirituality, but practice of religion is – this comes from Sri Ramakrishna’s philosophy. So I started a new leg of my journey or balancing act - I joined the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit as a special student for the winter quarter. I hope to learn something new and deepen my faith. This comes at a time in my life when I am searching for a new career and a new sense of hope. It's not that there haven't been other legs where I have had to search for hope, or where I have had to carve out a new career path. Being a stay at home mom when I had all that surgery on my left leg in 2000-2001 also was a new career in a sense, for someone who constantly wants to be engaged.

The class I am taking is helping me to reflect on God and what it means to me not only from my Hindu perspective but also from the (liberal, ecumenical) Christian perspective. Its titled God and Humanity and follows systematic theology with textbooks by Migliore (Faith Seeking Understanding) and Evans (We Have Been Believers). If I survive this course and find funding to pursue the MDiv, I think that is my new direction.

Reflecting on my visit to the American Academy of Religion's Annual Meeting in Chicago in Nov. 2008, I realized that my attending the Pluralism and Peacemaking Session with Eboo Patel and Susan Thistlethwaite being the bookend speakers is what has pulled me in this direction. Eboo is a scholar, she is a seminarian - and I believe that I want to be with other seminarians - even if they are going to all end up Christian ministers and I don't know what I will end up as. But I am cautiously excited that I have a context that is unique and can help with peacemaking in my region. There may be many others who have preceeded me in comparing Eastern Philosophy and Western Thought (I allude to S Radhakrishnan's book, which I am trying to get a hold of right now), but I approach it as a Hindu mother who wants to see America hold on to its promise of religious liberty for her children, while seeking a balance between the Indian and American cultures to which I belong.

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