read and answer 31


  1. Eboo Patel describes how his passion for interfaith conversation and relationships grew through his leadership of a weekly potluck that eventually grew into an intentional community.


    1. Brother Wayne, as a vowed Catholic monk, was committed to his faith but thought people needed fresh air from other traditions as well: with “windows open” so new oxygen can blow through their lives.


      QUESTION 3

      1. The word “cosmology” means someone’s perspective on the universe, their worldview. According to Ring (at the end of the assigned section of reading), all cultures encode and enact particular cosmologies, whether or not a given culture uses the concept of “religion” to describe that process.

        QUESTION 4

        1. In discussing the Latin origins of the term “religion,” the authors note that it may derive either from re-legere (meaning “to re-read”) or re-ligare (“to bind fast”). Thus, “religion” carries connotations both of handing down traditions so that future generations can (re-) read them also, and of creating complex forms by which humans and God or the gods are bound together.

          QUESTION 5

          1. Stone Soup was the name of a big interfaith conference Eboo Patel went to, where he experienced how boring such events can all too often be.

            QUESTION 6

            1. The Ring chapter on order and meaning notes that people in the Solomon Islands give thanks to God for the fish they catch and eat, whereas people in New England (U.S.) generally give thanks directly to the fish themselves.

              QUESTION 7

              1. Eboo and Kevin were proud to represent their Muslim (Eboo) and Jewish (Kevin) traditions in public at the interfaith events Brother Wayne attended.

                QUESTION 8

                1. The Ring chapter asserts that both synchronic and diachronic perspectives are important in the study of human cultures.

                  QUESTION 9

                  1. The Ring authors note that, even though we often think of chaos as confusing and disorganized, it can be a fruitful and important phase of human experience.

                    QUESTION 10

                    1. According to chapter 1 of the Ring book, people disagree about whether it’s more accurate to say that religion represents humans’discovery and discernment of order already present within the universe or that religion represents humans’ attempts at creating such order.


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