The ASMÁ Program
The Asma Path™ and the Emerging Movement

The emerging movement emphasizes practice (sometimes called praxis) over orthodoxy (right believing), and it is welcoming of multiple viewpoints (many “voices”). This compilation will focus on the movement. Related terms, for those who are familiar with them, are postmodernism, postliberalism (narrative theology), poststructuralism, and critical pragmatism.

Broadly speaking, The Asma Path  is, from one perspective, a category of the emerging movement. Although the emerging movement and “culture” began as an expression of Christianity (the emerging church), the movement has since spread to Judaism, Islām, and elsewhere. This compilation contains short quotations which will, hopefully, illustrate how the term, “emerging,” is generally defined.

More specifically, Baháʾís believe in progressive  Revelation. Each Prophet builds upon Those Who have preceded Him. Therefore, with postmodern Ṣūfism (emergence), the question becomes, “In what ways does Ṣūfism emerge  in a divine Dispensation (Prophetic age) after  Islām?” The Asma Path is one attempt at responding to that question.


Tariqa

also spelled tariqah, Arabic tariqah ("road," "path," or "way"), the Muslim spiritual path toward direct knowledge (ma'rifah) of God or Reality (haqq). In the 9th and 10th centuries tariqa meant the spiritual path of individual Sufis (mystics). After the 12th century, as communities of followers gathered around sheikhs (or pirs, "teachers"), tariqa came to designate the sheikh's entire ritual system, which was followed by the community or mystic order. Eventually tariqa came to mean the order itself.

Each mystic order claimed a chain of spiritual descent (silsilah) from the Prophet Muhammad established procedures for initiation of members (murid, ikhwan, darwish, fakir), and prescribed disciplines. By following the path of a known "friend of God," or Sufi saint, under the guidance of his sheikh, the Sufi might himself achieve the mystical state (hal) of the friends of God. Though sober teachers inveighed against excesses, the search for spiritual ecstasy sometimes led to such practices as drug taking and wild acrobatics, activities that earned for some of the orders the names whirling, howling, and dancing dervishes. Dervish orders frequently established monasteries (ribat, khankah, zawiyah, tekke) in which laity as well as members were invited to stay.

First established in the 12th century, the orders numbered in the hundreds by the mid-20th century, with a membership in the millions..

"Tariqa." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010.


The sufi is one who is a lover of the Truth, who by means of love and devotion moves toward the Truth, toward the Perfection which all are truly seeking. Having traveled the Spiritual Path (Tariqat), the disciple becomes a perfect being and arrives at the threshold of the Truth (Haqiqat).

Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, The Path , 2003 (retrieved on May 8, 2010) http://jeremiahcornelius.net/book/export/html/28


The practice of Sufism is the intention to go towards the Truth, by means of love and devotion. This is called the tariqat, the spiritual path or way towards God.

Khaniqahi Nimatullahi, 2010 (retrieved on May 8, 2010) http://www.nimatullahi.org/us/WIS/WIS1.html


Following are five themes that characterize the emerging movement. I see them as streams flowing into the emerging lake. No one says the emerging movement is the only group of Christians doing these things, but together they crystallize into the emerging movement.

Prophetic (or at least provocative)
One of the streams flowing into the emerging lake is prophetic rhetoric. The emerging movement is consciously and deliberately provocative. Emerging Christians believe the church needs to change, and they are beginning to live as if that change had already occurred. Since I swim in the emerging lake, I can self-critically admit that we sometimes exaggerate....

Postmodern
... Postmodernity cannot be reduced to the denial of truth. Instead, it is the collapse of inherited metanarratives (overarching explanations of life) like those of science or Marxism. Why have they collapsed? Because of the impossibility of getting outside their assumptions....

Praxis-oriented
The emerging movement's connection to postmodernity may grab attention and garner criticism, but what most characterizes emerging is the stream best called praxis—how the faith is lived out. At its core, the emerging movement is an attempt to fashion a new ecclesiology (doctrine of the church). Its distinctive emphases can be seen in its worship, its concern with orthopraxy, and its missional orientation....
... A notable emphasis of the emerging movement is orthopraxy, that is, right living. The contention is that how a person lives is more important than what he or she believes....

Post-evangelical
The emerging movement tends to be suspicious of systematic theology. Why? Not because we don't read systematics, but because the diversity of theologies alarms us, no genuine consensus has been achieved, God didn't reveal a systematic theology but a storied narrative, and no language is capable of capturing the Absolute Truth who alone is God. Frankly, the emerging movement loves ideas and theology. It just doesn't have an airtight system or statement of faith. We believe the Great Tradition offers various ways for telling the truth about God's redemption in Christ, but we don't believe any one theology gets it absolutely right.
Hence, a trademark feature of the emerging movement is that we believe all theology will remain a conversation about the Truth who is God in Christ through the Spirit, and about God's story of redemption at work in the church. No systematic theology can be final. In this sense, the emerging movement is radically Reformed. It turns its chastened epistemology against itself, saying, "This is what I believe, but I could be wrong. What do you think? Let's talk."
... An admittedly controversial element of post-evangelicalism is that many in the emerging movement are skeptical about the "in versus out" mentality of much of evangelicalism. Even if one is an exclusivist (believing that there is a dividing line between Christians and non-Christians), the issue of who is in and who is out pains the emerging generation.

Political
... I don't think the Democratic Party is worth a hoot, but its historic commitment to the poor and to centralizing government for social justice is what I think government should do.

McKnight, Scot, "Five Streams of the Emerging Church: Key elements of the most controversial and misunderstood movement in the church today." Christianity Today. Volume 51, number 2. February 2007.


In English, the word “emergent” is normally an adjective meaning coming into view, arising from, occurring unexpectedly, requiring immediate action (hence its relation to “emergency”), characterized by evolutionary emergence, or crossing a boundary (as between water and air). All of these meanings resonate with the spirit and vision of Emergent Village....

Emergent Village began as a group of friends who gathered under the auspices and generosity of Leadership Network in the late 1990s. We began meeting because many of us were disillusioned and disenfranchised by the conventional ecclesial institutions of the late 20th century....

Above all, we became convinced that living into the Kingdom meant doing it together, as friends. Thus, we committed ourselves to lives of reconciliation and friendship, no matter our theological or historical differences....

By 2001, we had formed an organization around our friendship, known as Emergent, as a means of inviting more people into the conversation. Along with us, the “emerging church” movement has been growing, and we in Emergent Village endeavor to fund the theological imaginations and spiritual lives of all who consider themselves a part of this broader movement.

"About Emergent Village." Emergent Village. Website. Retrieved on June 28, 2009.


Phyllis Tickle pointed out that ‘Emergence‘ is not simply something going on in the church, but in fact it is taking place everywhere. Emergence, as a concept, first emerged in science and today it has the largest consensus among the scientific community (contra: neo-darwinism, Dawkins…). Philip Clayton, a philosopher of science and Christian theologian is making a plea for dialogue with the Emerging Church Movement in hopes that his work in scientific emergence can enliven the theological and ecclesiological conversation at an Emergent Village Cohort near you.

Tony Jones has made the first response and I hope that the rest of the emergent ‘conversation’ does too. Everyone is of course invited to the upcoming event weekend and should you come Friday night for the ‘Transforming the Church’ conversation you are also welcome to join Philip, Tony, and some of the other theologians for a Theo-Pub Transforming Theology Cohort afterward.

If the meaning of ‘emergence’ in the scientific conversation intrigues you check out Philip giving a power-packed 5 minute intro. Hopefully this will inspire your own transformative theological reflection and practice. When it does, share your thoughts.

Fuller, Tripp, " Connecting the Science of Emergence to the Church Emerging. Homebrewed Christianity.. Blog. March 6, 2009.


Orthopraxy is becoming more of a buzz word in emergent Christianity. We can learn much about shifting our focus away from right beliefs (Orthodoxy) to right practice (Orthopraxy) by looking at Zen philosophy. It is interesting to realize that Buddhists figured this out long ago and cut right through supernatural beliefs to a practical way to practice their faith. I feel like 99% of my time in Christianity has been focused on establishing the correct beliefs about unbelievable things and absorbing misguided interpretations of scripture.

Leaptrott, Mike, "Zen and Orthopraxy." Progression of Faith. Blog. March 12, 2007.


There are some within the emerging movement who are theologically conservative and others who tend to be more theologically liberal. People like Scot McKnight, Ryan Bolger, and Robert Webb have pointed out that the emerging movement is not defined in theological terms, but rather in terms of praxis. Some critics who have attacked the emerging movement on theological grounds (such as D.A. Carson and John MacArthur) have often failed to make their point because (a) they are attacking an ecclesiastical movement on theological grounds, therefore completely missing the point and (b) they focus on one or two of the emerging leaders and their theology, therefore completely missing the diversity of the emerging movement.

Boulet, Art. "Emerging Movement and the Problem of Definitions." Finitum non Capax Infiniti. January 25, 2007.


Part of the problem is the increasing influence of liberation theology, which is essentialy Marxism dressed in Christian clothing. I used to go to a mainline liberal denomination and virtually every sermon was along these lines. A great deal of EC [emerging church] seems to be strongly in thrall to this ideology. I dont [sic] see it as a positive at all. Its [sic] just as much a distortion of the Gospel as the Psoperity [sic] teachings are.

Shawn, "What Is the Emerging Church Movement? Part 8." Blog comment. November 20, 2005.


Liberation theology began when it became evident that while the Catholic Church had a very well-developed theology there were many Catholics whose primary experiences were those of oppression, destruction, alienation, and frustration. This is not an unexpected reality for Christians living in hostile lands where persecution of the faith leads to martyrdom. However, those in Latin America were not persecuted because of their faith, they were oppressed in spite of their faith and because they were poor. This began a renewed study into Scripture and theology that took seriously both experience and revelation. From this, it became evident that there is a preferential option for the poor within the kingdom of God, and that this reality should be pursued not only as a future, heavenly, reality but also as guide for the present mission of the church in this world. The poor were given new emphasis, new hope, new value as liberation theologians reminded the church of its own priorities.

These priorities were not only noticed by liberation theologians who worked among the poorest of the poor. It was also noticed in circumstances almost entirely different—among the middle class churches of North America, Britain, Australia, and other Western nations. These churches of relative wealth and privilege realized their own participation in expressions of dominance and consumerism. Those in the emerging churches began to emphasis community, freedom, and the values of letting go what society said they were owed in order to embrace the values God says they should embody. Two different contexts, the same hope.

These two movements have practical expression in particular forms of church and community life. Even more deeply, these movements share common traits of theology that emphasize holistic application in thought and practice, contextual understanding, and vernacular expression. Rather than being content with a theology that is coherent but does not find resonance within the lives of those who live the faith in this present world, these two movements became critical of foundationalist assumptions and began to develop a theological method that emphasizes both experiences and practices. Those in these movement noticed the ways in which beliefs and experiences did not match up, thus causing friction and damage to the church, to individuals, and to society as a whole. They are willing to forge new forms of both practice and theology in order to respond to these situations of friction, concerning themselves with theological integrity more than theological coherence.

While this approach to theology is not without its own decided areas of weakness, it has become clear that a theology that does not concern itself with the lives of the people can easily become ahistoric, even as it might emphasize theological tradition or Scripture as an apparent source of knowledge. By moving away from the experiences of the people in history or the present, a theology might very well be coherent, but it would no longer be Christian. For God has revealed himself not as the God who makes sense in a systematic way, but rather as the God who brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt, liberating them, and forming them to be his people in this world. Jesus is not the one who taught complex philosophy but rather was the one who ministered to the poor and oppressed, who died on the cross, and who rose again—foolishness to the Greeks and a scandal to the Jews. He offered liberation through his sacrifice, and through the gift of the Holy Spirit all the people of God are empowered to participate fully in the kingdom of God’s rule. That is the mission of God. Both liberation theology and the emerging church seek to join in this mission, pursuing holistic transformation in the church and for all of society.

Oden, Patrick, "Liberating Theology." Ravens. Blog. March 21, 2009.


The Emerging Church is a loose affiliation of individuals, churches, and organizations of many different theological outlooks. The beginnings of this movement, or “conversation,” grew out of a desire to reach those who share a postmodern worldview, and who thus might be resistant to truth claims such as those found in the Bible....

... There is also a strong thread of liberation theology present.

The Brothers of John the Steadfast, "The Emerging Church." LutheranWiktionary.


Four Models of Emerging Churches

  1. Deconstructionist Model: Probably the most well known group of emerging churches, these churches are truly postmodern in just about every sense of the word. These are Christians influenced mainly by deconstruction, a philosophical approach invented on the continent. In their holy readings of philosophical discourse Derrida, Lyotard, Foucault and Caputo would be there. Much of the focus is on adopting postmodernity, and contextualizing the Gospel accordingly. Peter Rollins’ Ikon in Ireland would be a good example of one such group. I think Tony Jones and Brian McLaren would also fall under this category. I would say they are accommodating to postmodern culture, against modernism, and often against the institutional church making them lean towards a sort of non-denominationalism.
  2. Pre-modern/Augustinian Model: This model would be the second most influential within the EC, and can be in (friendly) opposition to the first group. Instead of understanding postmodernism in terms of Nietzschean philosophy as group one would do, this model leans more towards a Renaissance styled post-modernism (similar to what is represented in Toulmin’s Cosmopolis). Whether this group is truly early modern or whether it reaches back further to the pre-modern era I am not quite clear on, but St. Augustine and St. Thomas are key figures for this group. This is the where the Radical Orthodoxy of John Milbank, James K. Smith and others would fall. We see some catholics here, as well as other theologians that tend towards placing a higher emphasis on tradition within the overall framework of the Christian faith, rather than simply contextualization. This group would see history as having shown us a better way, and if we reach back far enough we may be able to find wisdom that will help us in our quest of faith today. They would be more favorable towards institutional church, and have a pretty clear understanding of what kind of church we ought to become, but would also be seen as nostalgic and trying to uphold an institution that has often oppressed and violated those we are called to help.
  3. Emerging Peace Church Model (Or Open Anabaptism): This model of the emerging church stresses the non-conformist tendencies of Jesus, and thus the church should follow in his footsteps through non-violence, love of enemy and caring for the poor. This one may be closest to a kind of new monasticism that has so often been written about in recent times. While there are people from the various peace churches involved in this type of church, there are also people from a variety of traditions who are seeking to contextualize the Gospel within our culture. This group does not accept any one style of culture as being good, thus their non-conformist attitude is directed at modernity and postmodernity alike. They see Jesus (and his incarnation) as their primary model for engaging culture. They are influenced by Wittgenstein, Barth, Bonhoeffer, John H. Yoder, McClendon and Nancey Murphy to name a few. In this group you will find people like Jarrod McKenna and the Peace Tree, Shane Claiborne, some Mennonites, Rob Bell’s Mars Hill, Submergent, Jesus Radical and convergent Friends, to name a few. This group is counter any kind of Christendom styled church and thus would be sometimes for and sometimes against institutionalization, and would see contextualization as important only up to the point that it remains ultimately an extension of Jesus’ ministry and message.
  4. Foundationalist Model: This model of the emerging church is more conservative in their reading of Scripture and modern approaches to ecclesiology (standard preacher-centered teaching, music for worship, etc) while seeking to be innovative in their approaches to evangelism. This may come in the form of people meeting in pubs, having tatoos, cussing from the pulpit, playing loud rock music for worship and adding a layer of “alternative-ness” to their overall church service. These churches can be found within larger church communities, or can be on their own, sometimes as a large (possibly mega) church. They follow standard Evangelicalism in that they aren’t attached to traditions, and come out politically and theologically conservative, while maintaining a more accomodational stance toward culture in the name of evangelism, they will ultimately look similar to older church communities theologically. This is where I think theologians like Millard J. Erickson or D.A. Carson have a lot of influence. And where practitioners such as Mark Driscoll, Dan Kimball, Erwin McManus and many “emerging services” within mega-church congregations like Willow Creek might be found.

Daniels, C. Wess, "Four Models of Emerging Churches." Gathering in Light. Blog. January 13, 2008.


... I continue to encounter a growing movement of young people (not just young people!) who are deeply seeking to follow Jesus in ways that witness to God's Reign. A spirituality of "justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" in the midst of a world where injustice, war and misery seem to reign....

... When asked for a label to describe this fresh fire, the "emerging peace church movement" and the "Open Anabaptist impulse"are terms I've found helpful to give people a feel for what's happening.

McKenna, Jarrod, "Emerging Peace Church Movement & the "Open Anabaptist Impulse". Pace e Bene. Blog. May 3, 2007. Retrieved on January 11, 2010.


Within Aoradh we have been trying to bring together some different strands;

Goan, Chris, Wilderness Meditation. Aoradh Christian Arts Project. emergingchurch.info. June 8, 2008.


Aoradh (meaning ‘adoration’) is a Christian arts group based in Dunoon, Argyll. Members of our group come from many different traditions and church backgrounds, and we greatly value the creativity and diversity that this brings to our experience.

Our practices arise from our experience of community. Out of this common ground, we seek to create spaces and events that enable us to worship and to celebrate our faith. This is no exclusive group however, and we are always open to meeting and working with others.

Aoradh seeks to work with (and serve) others whenever we can. In doing this, we offer our worship.

Aoradh.


... Presbymergent is a subset of hyphenmergent. The P word is for Presbyterians who are also emergent. Hyphenmergent covers all the people who are part of an existing denomination who also interested in or committed to the emerging conversation. Emergent is better described here on the Emergent Village website. If you're still too confused, then don't worry about it. But keep in mind that I consider convergent Friends to be the Quaker part of the emerging church conversation.

Convergent Friends are seeking a deeper understanding of our Quaker heritage and a more authentic life in the kingdom of God on Earth, radically inclusive of all who seek to live this life.

Linguistically, the name alludes to an affinity for both Conservative Friends and the Emergent Church. Metaphorically, it suggests that Friends are moving closer together towards some common point on the horizon. The winds of the Spirit are blowing across all the branches of Friends, blowing us in the same direction. The convergence of Friends is a fuzzy, changing concept, not an example of pure mathematics or philosophy.

This term includes, among others, Friends from the politically liberal end of the evangelical branch, the Christian end of the unprogrammed branch, and the more outgoing end of the Conservative branch. It includes folks who aren’t sure what they believe about Jesus and Christ, but who aren’t afraid to wrestle with this question. It includes people who think that a lot of Quaker anachronisms are silly but who are willing to experiment to see which are spiritual disciplines that still hold life and power to transform us. Some of these people are communicating across vast distances of geography or institutional theology. Some of them are communicating across dinner tables, while consuming take-out pizza and home-made chocolate chip cookies.

Welcome to the conversation!

Mohr, Robin [who reportedly originated the term "convergent friends"), "Intro to Quakerism for the Emergent Crowd." What Canst Thou Say? Blog. March 14, 2009.


... [Convergent] Friends ... are seeking a deeper understanding of our Quaker heritage and a more authentic life in the kingdom of God on Earth, radically inclusive of all who seek to live this life.

It includes, among others, Friends from the politically liberal end of the evangelical branch, the Christian end of the unprogrammed branch, and the more outgoing end of the Conservative branch. It includes folks who aren’t sure what they believe about Jesus and Christ, but who aren’t afraid to wrestle with this question. It includes people who think that a lot of Quaker anachronisms are silly but who are willing to experiment to see which are spiritual disciplines that still hold life and power to transform and improve us.

Mohr, Robin, "Robinopedia: Convergent Friends." What Canst Thou Say? Blog. Junuary 23, 2006.


From what little I've heard so far, it sounds like the meeting between Christian and Jewish leaders on Emergent Sacred Communities was a huge success this past week. Emergent-US and Synagogue 3000 met together to discuss the creation of new sacred communities, and it there is now a Jewish Emergent movement. I'm very excited by this opportunity to meet and discuss with progressive Jews about community formation and spirituality. I hope this is just the beginning of future times of dialogue and joint-endeavors between emergent Christians, Jews and hopefully those from other faiths.

Cleaveland, Adam Walker, "Christians & Jews discuss Emergent Sacred Communities." Pomomusings: Design, Ministry & Theology. Blog. January 19, 2006. Retrieved on January 11, 2010.


Who are the Convergent Friends?

We are unprogrammed, programmed, liberal, evangelical, post-liberal, moderates, post-evangelical, emerging, postmodern, Christian, seekers, and young and old. We are people who’ve grown tired of the old categories and the lack of creativity our tradition has found itself in; we’re bothered by the absence of a relevant Quaker message in the world and we like to use what ever means possible to share our ideas and connect. We feel like there is something of the substance that has gone out of our tradition, no matter what subgroup we’re in. There is something we can learn from each other and we haven’t tried hard enough to find what that is. We can tell that the world’s changed around us, and we can see that our church is far behind the times. There have been many walls put up around our various groups, and we’ve realized that if you take those walls down a lot of us are asking the same questions and have the same hopes, dreams and fears. We realize we’re all still in the same family and we want to get to know each other. Given these characteristics we write a lot, blog a lot, talk and email each other constantly; yes, we use the internet to connect in as many ways as possible. We love to gather in person, eat meals together, hear each other’s stories and have a good time. We’re interested in being friends more than we’re interested in staying on our own side of the fence.

Who are the Convergent Friends? Convergent Friends.. Blog.


There are a growing number of Friends who are looking to the Christian roots of Quakerism and its peculiar practices, while taking seriously the radical differences the postmodern world presents and adapting our practices accordingly. This group can be understood as conservative Friends and emergent-minded people coming together to rethink our tradition and help it overcome its identity crisis. Many are calling themselves Convergent Friends, a named coined by San Francisco Quaker Robin Mohr. (http://robinmsf.blogspot.com) People from each of the major branches in Quakerism are trying to be Christians who are Quakers in the postmodern world.

There is a great excitement among these “Convergent Friends” and those who are like-minded. The excitement is not over the fact there is a new group of Friends, but that there is a group of people who are in love with early Quakerism, Jesus and the Bible, following the Spirit and sharing God’s love with the world today. Convergent Friends hold both the Bible and experience in high regard, and reject the modern dichotomy between orthodoxy and orthopraxy. In order to do this we must focus on transforming our practices.

One important practice we Quakers must participate in is a continual retelling of both the Christian (through the Bible and church history) and Quaker narrative (through journals, history books, etc.). The retelling of these stories helps heal and reshape the disparaging identity we now bear. Sharing stories must turn into learning and transformation if we are to pass our tradition onward, but for many of our churches we must start with the sharing before transformation will take place.

Daniels, C. Wess, "Convergent Friends: Passing on the Faith in the Postmodern World." Quaker Life. July/August 2006.


C. Wess Daniels lives in LA with his wife Emily and daughter L. He is a PhD Student at Fuller Theological Seminary in the School of Intercultural Studies under Dr. Ryan Bolger studying the Quakerism, church in mission and contemporary culture. This blog focused mainly on those topics. Wess has been a part of the growing conversation around "convergent Friends," Quakers interested in renewing their tradition in way that is faithful to the Kingdom of God in light of postmodern culture.

Daniels, C. Wess, "About C. Wess Daniels." Gathering in Light. Blog.


We are committed to honor and serve the church in all its forms – Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, Anabaptist. We practice “deep ecclesiology” – rather than favoring some forms of the church and critiquing or rejecting others, we see that every form of the church has both weaknesses and strengths, both liabilities and potential.

We believe the rampant injustice and sin in our world requires the sincere, collaborative, and whole-hearted response of all Christians in all denominations, from the most historic and hierarchical, through the mid-range of local and congregational churches, to the most spontaneous and informal expressions. We affirm both the value of strengthening, renewing, and transitioning existing churches and organizations, and the need for planting, resourcing, and coaching new ones of many kinds.

We seek to be irenic and inclusive of all our Christian sisters and brothers, rather than elitist and critical. We own the many failures of the church as our failures, which humbles us and calls us to repentance, and we also celebrate the many heroes and virtues of the church, which inspires us and gives us hope.

"Values & Practices." Emergent Village.


For millennia, the world's great religious traditions evolved in relative isolation from one another. But today, these varied traditions are converging through our daily exposure to a wide diversity of beliefs and values - held not by strangers in far-off lands, but by our neighbors, co-workers, classmates, and teachers. While some take refuge in the fostering of division and fear, a growing number recognize in this diversity new possibilities for interfaith engagement and conversation, spiritual growth and renewal, and peace in our communities and the world.

Emergent Spirit sees these exciting and dangerous times as an unprecedented opportunity for people of all faiths. We seek to foster an authentic, informed, and active spirituality -- at once deeply Christian and profoundly interspiritual -- which can nourish the heart, engage the mind, and empower transformative action....

The great conversation is beginning. A new spirit is emerging. Join us and help us make this vision a reality!

Tom Buchanan, "Emergent Spirit." Retrieved on June 4, 2010.


Ivan Illich was once asked what is the most revolutionary way to change society.
Is it violent revolution or is it gradual reform?
He gave a careful answer.
Neither.
If you want to change society, then you must tell an alternative story, he concluded.

Tim Costello


In fact, by reflecting on how you feel about “postmoderns” and what you think they stand for and against, you can begin to understand how real postmodern people feel about Christians like us, and things they think we stand for … things like “metanarratives.” That term, by the way, is a highly nuanced term. This isn’t the time to go into a lengthy exploration of the term (you can find a good reading list or two on this and related subjects at www.emergentvillage.com), but let me offer this analogy. The word propaganda is defined as follows:
1. The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause.
2. Material disseminated by the advocates or opponents of a doctrine or cause: wartime propaganda.

Based on this definition, would you want to define the gospel as propaganda? The definition fits, right? But you wouldn’t want to use this word for the gospel, because the word carries negative connotations – connotations related to half-truths, manipulative rhetoric, suppressed counter-information, etc. Similarly, metanarrative implies domination, coercion, eradication of opponents, imposition of beliefs or behaviors on minorities against their will, and the like. Many people don’t realize these connotations are associated with the term, because they’ve gotten their information from others in the Christian community who have never really understood or even read the primary source documents. While I’m sure you do not fall into this category, it seems to me that you have not really grasped the meaning of metanarrative as it’s used by postmodern theorists. It’s easy to misunderstand, in part because of the density of postmodern philosophical writing, but more because of the confused propaganda disseminated by too many of our not-fully-informed Christian brothers on the subject.

Having said that, I still understand that you are against something worth being against. You feel that postmoderns have developed a self-contradictory message (THIS IS THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH: there are no absolute truths!). This absurdity might allow them to do anything they want in the name of no absolutes (which to you means “no morality”). You know that if they pursue that path of moral anarchy, the personal and social result will be terrible pain and destruction – AIDS, unwanted pregnancies, divorce, and more. You want to save them and others from this pain. This is a good thing, and I applaud you for it, and I share your concern!

But try to understand this parallel reality: In the late 20th century, postmodern thinkers looked back at regimes like Stalin’s and Hitler’s. (One must never forget how postmodern thought developed in the aftermath of the Holocaust, as deeply ethical European intellectuals like Michael Polanyi reflected on the atrocities their peers had perpetuated or acquiesced to.) Postmodern thinkers realized that these megalomaniacs used grand systems of belief to justify their atrocities. Those systems of belief – which the postmodern thinkers called “metanarratives,” but which also could have been called “world views” or “ideologies” – were so powerful they could transform good European intellectuals into killers or accomplices. They thought back over European history and realized (as C. S. Lewis did) that those who have passionate commitment to a system of belief will be most willing, not only to die for it, but to kill for it.

They looked at powerful belief systems of the twentieth century – world views (extreme Marxism is one such world view), grand stories (anti-Semitism is one such story, White Supremacy is another, American manifest destiny is another), ideologies (such as the industrialist ideology that the earth and its resources are not God’s creation deserving care through reverential stewardship, but rather, are simply natural resources there for the taking by secular industrialists), and they were horrified. These dominating belief systems were responsible for so many millions of deaths, so much torture, so much loss of freedom and dignity, so much damage to the planet, that they sought to undermine their dominance. They advocated incredulity or skepticism toward such stories or belief systems.

By the way, you repeatedly referred to 9/11 as a watershed in this regard, but it seems to me the “metanarrative” of the Taliban and radical Islamists simply adds another reason for incredulity or skepticism towards belief systems which seek control by force or intimidation, don’t you agree? And rightly or wrongly, the U.S. action in Iraq may convince many people around the world that we’re just another powerful elite bent on domination, coercion, and elimination of our opponents through a messianic metanarrative of American Empire. So 9/11 may not mark a return to the good old days of modernity after all, at least not outside our borders, and not for long.

Anyway, Chuck, you’re legitimately worried that “postmoderns” will use their relativism as an excuse to do anything they want. But they’re worried that you and other “moderns” will use your absolutism as an excuse to do anything you want. (If you can’t see any validity to their concern, then I’m truly speechless, and it’s hardly worth your reading the rest of my letter.) From where I stand, I’m afraid both of you are seeing a valid danger in one another. Postmodern people like me – you can call us post-postmoderns if you want to continue asserting postmodernity is dead, but please don’t call us truth-denying relativists, because we’re not, even though we don’t like your unreflective use of words like “absolute truth” – people like me want neither the self-indulgent narcissism of the one nor the unreflective absolutism of the other. You’re against their supposed denial of truth in the interest of self-indulgence, and they’re against your apparent monopolization of truth in the interest of political domination, and you’ve convinced some of the rest of us that you’re both at least partly right about each other.

McLaren, Brian D., "An Open Letter to Chuck Colson." Brian D. McLaren. Blog. 2003.


Rather than assuming that we can know everything there is about God, the Bible, and the world, emerging churches live in the tension of not knowing all the answers. They seek to engage one another, scripture, and the world to discover the many ways that God is revealed to us. In addition to the things Christians have in common, they value the diverse perspectives that different people and traditions have to offer each other. If there is one thing that describes emerging churches more than anything else, it is conversation. They love to think and talk about God and how God works in the world, asking the difficult questions that we often avoid because there is no easy answer (or even a single answer). They are rediscovering a lot of ancient Christian spiritual forms and practices and reapplying them in a contemporary context. As they engage in conversation with one another, emerging churches are also very much in dialog with the culture. Thus, they are constantly seeking ways that the Gospel can communicate to people who face the challenges of our context and who learn and experience life through its media.

"Emerging 101." Emerging Lutherans.


Rites of Regeneration, as an emergent community, exists for the primary purpose of co-facilitating the spiritual awakening for those individuals, families and tribes who are making God/dess devotion the center of their lives, while responding in activation to the call for creation care and joyfully participating in our communal ascension with the New Earth.

Our primary intention is to support one another through the sharing in faith, knowledge, practice and work while growing in awareness out of the illusion of seperative existence and into the fully conscious realization of our holy communion with each other, creation, and the living and eternal Creator-Deity, The One I Am.

We claim fully our power as Sons and Daughters of The One I Am while confessing fully our absolute and utter dependence on God/dess and community - receiving our activation in the surrender. We recognize that each of us continually "misses the mark" in his/her thoughts, words, and deeds as we each enthrone our individual and illusory egos in the place where Spirit belongs. We forgive ourselves and each other in this journey toward conscious realization of our true identities.

Rites of Regeneration is founded on an initial intent toward the synergistic integration of three principal spiritual practice areas. These three areas are Christian Sufism, including both its contemplative and esoteric dimensions, Spiritual Ecology, including communion with nature and active creation care, and Regenerative Community, including service to the community as a whole as well as service to our individual brothers and sisters.

Rites of Regeneration is intended to evolve according the participation and co-creation of the members of the community. This evolution is intended to provide for the deepening and expansion of spiritual understanding and practice.

Rites of Regeneration gatherings are styled as Open-Conversations rather than as Authority-Lectures. All participants are free to question and are encouraged to contribute knowledge, rituals and other offerings and talent. Theology is necessarily employed as a tool to aid the awakening, activation and ascension process but we do not allow ourselves to be held in bondage by any limiting belief system.

Peace, Joy and Happiness are fully realized as we make manifest the Light, Love, and Life of the Most High upon the Earth through our faith and works. We are grateful for the opportunity to practice and to serve in community. We are all Priests and Priestesses of The One I Am.

"Rites of Regeneration: An EcoContemplative and EcoEsoteric Praxis Community - CoCreated by Its Participants." n.d. Retrieved on June 3, 2010.


... here, very briefly stated, are what I feel to be some of the leading characteristics of an emerging theology. It reflects my biases and blindspots. If people want to suggest corrections or additions, I would be happy to take them into account and republish the list as a more collective statement.

  1. A theology for a community that is in self-conscious continuity with the biblical people of God and the calling of Abraham to be blessed and be a blessing to the nations of the world.
  2. A theology done under the lordship of Christ.
  3. A theology that gives priority to narrative in order both to define its core and to contextualize the content of biblical teaching.
  4. A theology that seeks to understand the intimate relationship between text and historical narrative.
  5. A theology that at its heart is a reading of scripture.
  6. A theology that as a matter of methodological commitment celebrates, reinforces, and exploits community: an emerging theology is strongly relational, conversational, interactive.
  7. A theology that is strongly aware of, and responsive to, the locality in which these conversations take place.
  8. A theology that attempts to resist certain distortions of modernism.
  9. A theology that is broadly but not slavishly postmodern in its epistemology, wary of absolute formulations, tolerant of diversity and plurality, sensitive to the social manipulation of texts.
  10. A theology that places a high value on intellectual and critical integrity - ‘integrity’ being, I think, the ‘postmodern’ word in that sentence.
  11. A theology committed to the renewal of its own discourse, understood not only as speech but as the whole spectrum of means (artistic, communal, activist) by which we communicate.
  12. A theology that fosters an open, inquisitive, probing mindset.
  13. A theology that endeavours to integrate rather than dissociate modes of thought, analysis, and practice, that draws on the mind of the whole community of faith.
  14. A generous theology that is inclined to discover meaning and truth outside of itself.
  15. A theology with an eschatological orientation towards the renewal of creation - humanity within a comprehensive ecology; therefore a public rather than a private theology.

Perriman, Andrew, "What (again) is an emerging theology?" Open Source Theology. July 5, 2006.


I am, as many of you know, in a constant struggle with realizing that paramount shifts to postmodernism have occurred, knowing that I am postmodern, and accepting that people label me emerging. I am a part of presbymergent [emergent Presbyterians] and have great hope for the creative energy that flows there, but not entirely comfortable with all things emerging. Yet, as Shawn Coons and Jim Bonewald have reminded me on occasion, there are different emerging church movements, not just one. That’s comforting.

One of the main things that I have difficulty with within the emerging church movements (even the denominational-mergents) is the quick assumption that those who are emerging from an evangelical tradition are somehow more in touch with culture than us—the stuffy, old, hierarchical mainliners.

We are far from perfect. We have important questions to ask ourselves, significant changes that will be made. And many of those questions are being asked in emerging church circles.

If I’m honest, I’ll tell you that I’m not only emerging from the mainline church, but also from the evangelical church in which I grew up. I was educated in both. They both reside uncomfortably within me. With that perspective, the thought that evangelicalism is more in tune with postmodern culture than mainline denominations is really, really odd.

Merritt, Carol Howard. "Emerging Traditions." TribalChurch.org. Blog. October 27, 2008.


I am a speaker, scholar, and consultant on religion and progressive politics. As president of Public Religion Research, I advise a number of national advocacy groups in Washington, DC, and across the country. My latest book tells the story of the emerging progressive religious movement in America....

In recent years, Americans have become frustrated with the troubled relationship between religion and politics: an exclusive claim on faith and values from the right and a radical divorce of faith from politics on the left. Now a new group of religious leaders is re-envisioning religion in public life and blazing a trail that goes beyond partisan politics to work for a more just and inclusive society. Progressive & Religious draws on nearly 100 in-depth interviews with Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist leaders to tell the story of this dynamic, emerging movement.

Robert P. Jones explains how progressive religious leaders are tapping the deep connections between religion and social justice to work on issues like poverty and workers’ rights, the environment, health care, pluralism, and human rights. Interviewees include David Saperstein, Michael Lerner, Jim Wallis, Brian McLaren, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Susan Thistlethwaite, Feisal Abdul Rauf, Eboo Patel, Kecia Ali, Surya Das, Robert Thurman, and E. J. Dionne.

Progressive Religious VoicesYou can hear these inspiring leaders talk about this emerging movement by tuning in to "Progressive Religious Voices," our bi-monthly podcast.

Jones, Ph.D., Robert P. Progressive and Religious. n.d.


The Working Group on Emergent Sacred Communities is a select group of emergent Jewish leaders who are committed to the establishment of transformative spiritual communities unbound by conventional expectations about what a synagogue is "supposed" to be. It includes pioneering rabbis, artists, and leaders who are reaching out through new forms of community to engage the unaffiliated and others who are not attracted to mainstream congregations.

Alter, Rabbi Daniel, "Working Group on Emergent Sacred Communities." Synagogue 3000. Retrieved on January 11, 2010.


The Jewish emergent-community phenomenon is just beginning to coalesce — but one could argue that we are not seeing something brand new, but rather that these communities exhibit characteristics of what has always been compelling about organic Jewish community through the ages, distilled to its essence. Perhaps there was a similar blossoming of micro-communities after the Romans wrecked the Temple as rabbinic Judaism began to take hold. While an inherent critique of institutional Judaism fuels many of the upstart Jewish communities, from an evolutionary standpoint the whole Jewish religious ecosystem stands to benefit from their emergence....

... Many of the emergent communities may eschew the “synagogue” label, but some are evolving to create a complete synagogue environment nonetheless....

... The emergents seem to be the equivalent of a highly adaptive strain of Jewish blue-footed boobies, one that has learned quickly to evolve to suit the new environment. They actually thrive in the more competitive milieu — and are succeeding at what many established synagogues fail to do: create intentional sacred communities that are both sustaining and sustainable. If we could isolate the meme for that (a meme being the cultural equivalent of a gene) and splice that dynamism into the cultural DNA of all the other shuls that need help, we would be a long way toward making all synagogues great.

Or perhaps the memes that permit the emergents to thrive are just dormant in the Galapa-gogues but are being expressed in the new communities due to some kind of hybrid vigor between the emergents and modern culture. And perhaps those dormant memes can be reactivated in the mainstream synagogues so they too can flourish in the new land-bridge scenario.

Some emergent communities may just be interesting experiments. But enough of the emergent communities have failed and enough have survived so that we can observe vigorous cultural selection in action. Emergents show the kind of adaptability and innovation that are hallmarks of a survivor genus. But since they share their basic DNA with Synagogus Mainstreamus they can (and should) interbreed. That kind of cross-pollination can only benefit both the established shuls and Synagogus Emergentus. We are living in a time of increasing bio-diversity in the Jewish eco-system — and witnessing the emergence of a 21st-century Jewish life that is the next stage in Judaism’s evolution. We should celebrate this fecundity and do our best to assure that all forms of spiritual community are fruitful and multiply.

Avedon, Joshua, "Where Would Darwin Daven?" Synagogue 3000. December 7, 2004. (Avendon is "one of the founders of IKAR, an emergent spiritual community in Los Angeles.")


Kesher Shalom is one of several ... groups that have popped up in the [California] region over the past half-decade. They lack formal connections to a particular denomination and present themselves as more intimate, less structured alternatives to mainstream congregations.

Nationally, these communities have attracted both those with nominal Jewish affiliation and those who come from more religious backgrounds, even Orthodox. They appeal to an array of individuals and families. Some are finding their first Jewish home; others have long been members of more traditional congregations, but are searching for something different.

A 2007 study by the organization Synagogue 3000 has classified them as "rabbi-led emergent communities." The study found that more than 20 such communities were created nationwide between 1997 and 2007, some focusing on prayer, some on social action or learning.

The growth of emergents has coincided with people wanting smaller communities and closer interaction with a rabbi, said Joshua Avedon, co-founder of Jumpstart, a California-based organization that focuses on emergent spiritual communities. More than ever, he said, people want to assemble their own Jewish identities, and seem less likely to adopt pre-existing labels.

"These communities fail or succeed based upon their ability to meet the needs of the people who show up," he said. "The beauty of it is that, because they are proliferating so wildly, that if you walk into one and it doesn't speak to you, you can get on the Web and just go find another one."

Schwartzman, Bryan, "'Emergent' Trend: Folks Find a Home, Unconventionally." Jewish Exponent. December 24, 2009. Retrieved on December 31, 2009.


Synagogue 3000 is a catalyst for excellence, empowering congregations and communities to create synagogues that are sacred and vital centers of Jewish life. We seek to make synagogues compelling moral and spiritual centers – sacred communities – for the twenty-first century. Our offices in Los Angeles and New York direct a national congregational leadership network and a synagogue studies institute. Sacred communities are those where relationships with God and with each other define everything the synagogue does; where ritual is engaging; where Torah suffuses all we do; where social justice is a moral imperative; and where membership is about welcoming and engaging both the committed and the unaffiliated. We wish to change the conversation about meaningful Jewish life in our time.

We accomplish our mission by challenging the existing assumptions of synagogue life in North America; by networking creative synagogue leaders to push their experimental vision ever forward; by showcasing their work to others in the field who can apply the principles of what they do in their own congregations; and by supporting those who are creating new "emergent" spiritual communities and advocating for the transformation of current models of synagogue life.

Synagogue 3000's Purpose. Website. Retrieved on November 28, 2009.


While following a relatively uninteresting trail of research recently (which I won't retrace here), I happened upon Synagogue 3000 (S3K). This consortium of rabbis and other Jewish leaders is committed to offering “challenging and promising alternatives to traditional synagogue structures.” They call themselves "Jewish Emergents," and their understanding of their mission is, in some ways, very similar to that of the Christian Emergent movement.

They are concerned, for example, with communicating authentic faith in a postmodern idiom, which has compelled them to move worship beyond the synagogue. So, they are meeting in homes, bars, and coffee houses, among other places. They are resurrecting some ancient practices, such as worshiping in Hebrew, while ignoring others. And they are reconsidering the qualifications for participation and leadership.

There are also significant differences between Jewish Emergents and Christian Emergents, of course. Along with Synagogue 3000, Jewish Emergents seem more concerned with updating the style and format of Jewish observation and worship than with questioning or reformulating orthodox Jewish theology. Also, while the Jewish Emergents are eager to reconcile younger non-practicing Jews to the faith, they are not concerned with proselytizing.

These differences (and others) highlight the single greatest difference between the groups (not counting the difference in religion): the Jewish Emergent movement is an institutional effort, not an anti-institutional rebellion. In that way, it may be more akin to the Anglican-sponsored emergent movement in the United Kingdom.

Not only are there superficial similarities between Christian and Jewish Emergents, the two groups are formally in conversation (as formally as emergents do anything). Synagogue 3000 invited Emergent spokesmen Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt, Dwight Friesen, and Dieter Zander to attend their 2006 meeting as advisors.

"The Emerging Synagogue? Apparently Christians aren’t the only ones feeling the urge to emerge." Out of Ur. Blog (from Christianity Today). May 9, 2008.


A narrative/historical approach to emergent theology

What is being proposed?

A narrative/historical account of the people of God, and approach to soteriology, in which an understanding of political and historical circumstances relating to Israel and Rome in the 1st century shape the narrative. The people of God are described and defined in relation to Israel’s history at that time.

In this reshaping, in which narrative receives greater attention than doctrinal or ethical formulations and approaches, a theology which is more attuned to postmodern thinking is developed, in contrast with the presuppositions which underlie ‘modern’ thinking. There would be a moving away from a rationalistic, proposition-based faith, with its focus on the individual, and life beyond this life, to a sense of being part of a narrative, a historical continuum, and salvation as a corporate reality with focus on this life.

Wilkinson, Peter, "A narrative/historical approach to emergent theology." Open Source Theology. June 17, 2005.


At the heart of the Emergent Church movement - or as some of its leaders prefer to call it, the "conversation" - lies the conviction that changes in the culture signal that a new church is "emerging." Christian leaders must therefore adapt to this emerging church. Those who fail to do so are blind to the cultural accretions that hide the gospel behind forms of thought and modes of expression that no longer communicate with the new generation, the emerging generation.

Carson, D.A. "The Emerging Church." Modern Reformation.


Welcome to Emerging Earth Angels (formerly What's Up On Planet Earth?)…a place for validation, connection, and support for our new roles as the angels of the New Earth....

In the year 2000, a group of souls began an unprecedented process of spiritual evolution referred to by many as “ascension.” It was decided at the highest soul levels that it was now time to wrap things up here on Earth, release and reclaim every form that we had infused our energy within for eons of time since the very beginning, and start completely over by creating a very New Planet Earth before we moved on to our very new adventures as souls.

Bishop, Karen. Emerging Earth Angels. Website. 2008.


To begin my exploration of the relationship that seeks to emerge between my conscious self and my emerging conscious self - I selected to create an energy map of this space....

An emergent center. Focus on growth, change, movement. Joy of growth and experience. What experiences do I want to have, that I and Emerging I what to explore together....

I want to more fully acknowledge the emergent strands of consciousness that arise on a daily basis. I want to hold more fully these strands and stop giving them just a cursory glance. I want to more fully explore these strands as they emerge.

I want to become more conscious where my emerging self deems that it must protect me and dialogue with it to see what I may learn. For example, am I protecting myself from an experience that I want to have?

"Exploring the Relationship - Consciousness and Emerging Consciousness." Metacreativity. Blog. September 23 [no year].


... they [my responses to emails] will be grounded in scripture. I am absolutely committed to the finality of scripture in all matters of faith and practice. The authority of the Bible is over all councils, church fathers, influential theologians and culturally conditioned movements.

Second, they will arise from the notion that God's spirit has been present in the church from the beginning and throughout history. I think it is arrogant and misleading to think we have nothing to learn from history. The road to the future runs through the past. This column will be connected to history.

Third, I don't think we can proceed into the future without a sensitivity to our culture. I am convinced we are going through an enormous cultural shift. Worship that is grounded in scripture and connected to history must be authentic to this changing cultural situation.

I've called this ancient-future talk. So let's talk about worship - what you do, what you hope to do, how you are going to do it, and anything else that comes to mind. And let's all commit to be grounded in scripture, connected to history, and authentic in this changing world.

Webber, Robert E., "Ancient-Future Talk: Conversations on the Future of Worship." AncientFutureWorship.com. Website. January, 2003.


Who Gets to Narrate The World?

The late Robert Webber believed this question to be the most pressing issue of our time. Christianity in America, he preached, will not survive if Christians are not rooted in and informed by the uniquely Christian story that is the gospelof Jesus Christ.

This is the burden of Webber's final book, Who Gets to Narrate the World? Contending for the Christian Story in an Age of Rivals. Convinced that American evangelicals are facing the demise of their entire way of life and faith, Webber challenges his readers to rise up and engage both the external and internal challenges confronting them today. This means that Christians must repent of their cultural accommodation and reclaim the unique story the Christian story that God has given them both to proclaim and to live.

AncientFutureWorship.com. Website. 2009.


Chrisitianity is changing. In recent years and in rapidly increasing numbers, people have begun to understand the core message and purpose of Christianity in a different way. They have returned to its ancient roots and found a wisdom that speaks to their experience of faith and God today. According to this emerging vision, Christianity is primarily about transformation–about the transformation of the self through a living and dynamic experience of God, who is not separate from us but who is a part of us; and about the transformation of society. This amazing collection of fourteen essays, by some of the leading authors and creative thinkers in the field, covers every aspect of this developing Christianity. Key concepts--such as deep ecology, social justice, radical inclusion, and the importance of honoring the wisdom of other world faiths--are explored. So, too, are the implications for worship, music, pastoral care, and education.

McDonald, S. Customer review of The Emerging Christian Way: Thought, Stories, And Wisdom for a Faith of Transformation. Amazon.com Website. July 6, 2006.


Our Mission at World Peace Emerging is to be the driving force behind real change.

Our strategy is to champion the people with working solutions, who are already making strides.....so that they can expand their reach.

We empower them in four ways.

  1. We use entertainment media as a medium to tell their stories, turning them into icons that viewers can model and support.
  2. We coach them and teach them to be better entrepreneurs, so they can be more effective and reach farther.
  3. We network them with each other, building coalitions of projects to share and exchange resources.
  4. We generate publicity campaigns that attract thousands of new people to their projects, bringing funding and volunteers.
    1. World Peace Emerging. Retrieved on May 27, 2009.


      Since Sharon Brous, 34, founded her alternative synagogue four years ago, IKAR's [see quotation below] young rabbi has frequently been identified as an innovative spiritual leader, someone successful at engaging disaffected younger Jews by marrying Torah learning with progressive social action....

      Often called "emergent" Judaism -- a term borrowed from a similar worship-without-walls movement among Christians -- these unique organizations usually share some common bonds, Cohen said. Among them: passion for Jewish living, an emphasis on community, appreciation of diversity and a calling to the larger world.

      ... the acknowledgement of her [Sharon Brous'] work by the organizational Jewish community, in this case JCF [Jewish Community Foundation], has been welcome news to her fellow travelers in progressive and emergent Judaism.

      Greenberg, Brad A. Rabbi Sharon Brous wins $100,000 award for ‘Inspired Leadership.’ JewishJournal.com. September 3, 2008. Retrieved on November 28, 2009.


      We [IKAR, i.e., Hebrew for root, essence or core] believe that serious, passionate, and authentic engagement with Torah is an enduring response to the deepest cry of the human heart.

      We believe that prayer and learning in a kehillah kedoshah, a holy community, can be soulful, inspiring, and profoundly impactful.

      We believe that matters of the spirit are intimately linked to matters of the world, and that the Jewish community has a distinct responsibility to participate in social justice and tikkun, healing.

      IKAR. Website. Retrieved on November 28, 2009.


      Advocates of "emergent Judaism" recently met with Christian evangelicals in California to learn how to bring young Jews closer to their religious traditions. "We've got to learn from what our Christian colleagues are doing," Shawn Landres of Synagogue 3000, a Jewish think tank, told Beliefnet.com. And now Guilt & Pleasure, a new magazine whose mission statement says that it is "helping Jews talk more," advocates creating salons where the magazine's articles, which include religious topics, are discussed.

      Shiflett, Dave. Getting Hip to Religion: Hip-hop Christianity? Get used to it. February 24, 2006. Website. Retrieved on November 28, 2009.


      Over two days, representatives from nearly 30 emergent Jewish and Christian worship groups talked about abandoning traditional worship in search of a more personal connection with God that they said they can’t find in temple or church. They also shared their vision with more traditional Jewish leaders who hope this new “emergent Judaism” might help bring young Jews back at least to some style of worship.

      “We’ve got to learn from what our Christian colleagues are doing,” said Shawn Landres, with Synagogue 3000, a progressive Jewish think tank that set up the meeting at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute about 45 miles north of Los Angeles.

      Flaccus, Gillian [Associated Press writer]. Emergent’ faiths gain attention. Quad City Times. January 21, 2006. Website. Retrieved on November 28, 2009.


      Consider this… if you allow yourself to change your perspective, the various and seemingly divergent points of departure for your (and others’) spiritual journeys might prove to actually provide more common ground that you thought.

      This is the perspective of the post-denominational, non-sectarian emergent spirituality movement today — a movement that seeks to cross that boundary between theistic and non-theistic paths, and instead to embrace the essential truths taught by the great traditions.

      The cornerstone of these traditions are compassion, loving-kindness, equanimity, and altruistic joy. We call these the Four Sublime Virtues (known in Sanksrit as the Brahmaviharas). These are virtues which arise from the contemplative and meditative states, which serve as powerful antidotes to avarice, anger, pride and violence.

      We are not so different, because we are ONE. The Punk Monk: From the Heart of Dharmacharya Gurudas Sunyatananda. Website. Retrieved on November 28, 2009.


      The Center for Human Emergence will help facilitate the conscious emergence of the human species using a synthesis of profound breakthroughs in human knowledge and capabilities, encompassing natural pattern coherence, mega-integration, unification, expanded whole mind capacity, deep intelligence and consciousness.

      Beck, Don. Center for Human Emergence: Initiating Action for Global Transformation. Website. Retrieved on November 28, 2009.


      The Centre for Human Emergence (UK) is a non political initiative to empower individuals and organisations of all sizes in creating a Britain which is vibrant, energetic and represents the deepest held values of its multicultural people. The centre in the UK is one of a worldwide meshwork of organisations working to enable emergence of the highest value systems within individuals, organisations, educational systems and within communities.

      UK Centre for Human Emergence. Website. Retrieved on November 28, 2009.


      Right to Be [a blog] is associated with and supports the UK Centre for Human Emergence (CHE UK). The group aims to use the work of Dr Don Beck, called Spiral Dynamics, that was based on and has evolved from the Value Systems model of the late Dr Clare W Graves.

      Similar in some respects, but going beyond, Maslow’s heirarchy of needs Spiral Dynamics provides a map of human value systems and their relationship with the life conditions that we each and collectively find our selves in. With a deep understanding of these values and relationships the model provides insights into the human condition and human behaviour. Using this knowledge we can adjust our life circumstances to allow us to grow to our full potential.

      Don has successfully applied techniques derived from this model in many parts of the world to faciltate social rebuilding and growth. His work includes time spent in South Africa helping with the dismantling of apartite and more currently in the Middle East.

      Right to Be. Blog. UK Centre for Human Emergence. Retrieved on November 28, 2009.


      The CHE [Center for Human Emergence] is a global facilitator of conscious evolution of humanity. The UK node acts as connector, catalyst and meshwork hub for Britain.

      Centre for Human Emergence UK. Facebook group. Retrieved on November 28, 2009.


      The Sedona Journal Emergence offers Source Answers - Channeled Material - to Satisfy the Heart and to Inspire Lives.

      We are all beings with infinite possibilities, we are here to help you unlock the true nature of your existence.

      We are the one monthly publication that tells you WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW - predictables, your personal horoscope and channelings from humanity's spiritual teachers and mentors describing the safest way to journey to the next dimension and beyond. All people are expanding to their true nature - you can resist or you can assist. Choosing SJE gives you both conceptual information and benevolent magic techniques to assist you to enjoy the process.

      Sedona Journal of Emergence. Facebook group. Retrieved on November 28, 2009.


      Our [Sedona Journal of Emergence) Purpose is to:

      • Provide a forum for those who wish to speak to us from other dimensions and realities.
      • Celebrate our emergence into multidimensionality and our reconnection to the rest of creation.
      • Bring information on the truth of our eternal nature—on the origin, ultimate purpose and future of the human race.
      • Remind ourselves that our light and our sense of humor will carry us through into the adventure of forever.
      Sedona Journal of Emergence. Retrieved on November 28, 2009.


      Halalfire Media properties have been widely recognized as pioneers in the emerging Muslim Internet space, and have been extensively covered in the news media ....

      Halalfire: Your Muslim Neighborhood. Halalfire Media LLC. About Page. Retrieved on January 23, 2010.


      Bob and Gracie [Ekblad] are committed to the emergence of a new paradigm and praxis that brings together diverse emphasis and parts of the body of Christ in the service of the least-- on earth as in heaven....

      God has called me to bring good news of Jesus' love and Kingdom to the poor and oppressed through respectful presence, liberating Bible study and Spirit-empowered action, raising up, equipping, empowering and multiplying leaders from the margins and the mainstream as agents of Jesus-inspired advocacy, community and transformation.

      BobEkblad.com.


      JEWCY.com is a reader supported non-profit devoted to helping young Jews and their peers expand the meaning of community by presenting a broad spectrum of voices, content, and discussion. JEWCY.com is the must-read thought leader at the epicenter of the contemporary Jewish conversation.

      Jewcy Make a Donation to Jewcy (from the Jewcy website)


      Launched on March 8, 2009, Altmuslimah.com provides a space for compelling comment on gender in Islam from both the male and female, Muslim and non-Muslim, perspectives....

      The mode of exploration is a combination of analysis and personal stories. The editors at Altmuslimah are firm believers in the power of narratives to help explain social phenomena. By uncovering the stories of a wide cross-section of men and women in the community, Altmuslimah helps bring into sharper focus the gender issues that affect both men and women.

      altmuslimah (from Halafire Media). Mission Page. Retrieved on January 23, 2010.


      e-mams.org began as a suggestion to us from Ingrid Mattson, President of the Islamic Society of North America, to extend the functionality behind halalfire's salat-o-matic site. The idea was further developed at a July 2007 meeting of technology professionals and Muslim leaders hosted by Harvard University's Berkman Center for the Study of Internet and Society.

      A few years later, the key functionality has been reviewed by Muslim scholars, imams and community leaders in the United States and Britain and updated per their suggestions. The result is a site that promises to empower both Muslim and non-Muslim individuals and contextualize Islamic practice in the modern world. Stay tuned...

      e-mams.org: your guide to the diversity of Islamic thought (from Halafire Media). Retrieved on March 8, 2010.

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