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Building Bridges
Interviews and articles to inspire interfaith dialogue.

gina_sharpeThe Beautiful Mind
by Tracy Cochran, Executive Editor, Parabola
Parabola Winter, 2010

In Buddhism equanimity is considered a sublime emotion, the ground of wisdom and compassion. The Pali word for it is upekkha, which means to “look over.” (Pali, a vernacular version of Sanskrit, is the language in which the Buddha taught and the language of Theravada Buddhist texts). Sharpe explained that this means observing a scene or a person so clearly that we see their part in the whole. In other words, we see their beauty. After we talked, I discovered that a second Pali word is also used to describe equanimity: tatramajjihattata. It’s a fusion of root words that means “to stand in the middle of all this.” Sharpe persuaded me that this is the place to be.(Read article)

Illuminating Our Path Of Seeing
by Vanessa Hurst, Director of the Merton Center for Contemplative Living
Parabola Fall, 2011

For Thomas Merton, “the spark was not so much a stable entity which one finds but an event, an explosion which happens as all opposites clash within oneself.” The spark is the internal light whose explosion illuminates all that we see. As our eyes search outward, the myriad of sights explode in a tangle of perceptions. By seeing with our eyes, our hearts, our minds, and our spirits, what we perceive is illuminated in the essence of that spark. Through the light beaming from this shining spark, we form our unique perception. Our perception is based upon the reality of our essence and nothing else. This view of reality is more accurate and less ego driven. When we see by resting in the light of the spark, we are consumed by the grace of God and recognize the Divine’s presence in us. (Read article)

gratitudeTo Live with Gratitude
An Interview with Robert Kennedy, S.J. Roshi
Parabola Spring 2008

“We shall not cease from exploration,” wrote the Catholic poet T.S. Eliot. “And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” PARABOLA joined Kennedy in the Jesuit living quarters of St. Peter’s College in Jersey City, New Jersey, where he teaches theology and Japanese. (Read Interview - PDF)

Karen_ArmstrongTo Go Beyond Thought
An Interview with Karen Armstrong
Parabola Fall 2006

One bright Spring day, Parabola met with Karen Armstrong in her suite at the Parker Meridian hotel in Manhattan. The petite, friendly British ex-nun, arguably the most influential commentator on religion in the English-speaking world, was on tour to promote her latest bestselling book. Lauded by critics as “magisterial” and “magnificent,” THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION chronicles the vast movements of history that comprise what philosopher Karl Jaspers termed the Axial Age, the period between 900 and 200 BCE when most of the great religions in humanity either came into being or grew their roots. Armstrong traces the arising of Confucianism and Taoism in China; Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism in India; monotheism in Israel, and the flowering of philosophical rationalism in Greece. She tracks this huge swath of history with verve and lucidity, noting that each of these very different traditions arose during periods of political disruption, religious intolerance, and violence. (Read Interview - PDF)

bishop_schoriA Wing and a Prayer
An Interview with Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori
Parabola Spring 2007

On Nov. 4, 2006, at a ceremony in Washington’s National Cathedral, Katharine Jefferts Schori became the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of America. Never before has a woman ascended to the role of primate or spiritual and executive leader in any province of the 77-million-member Anglican Communion. The 52-year-old Jefferts Schori, an experienced pilot who used to fly from diocese to diocese in her former role of Bishop of Nevada, took the controls of a church in turmoil over the ordination of the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire—and over the ordination of women. In her investiture sermon, as in many public statements before and since, she evoked Chapter 61 of Isaiah, which Jesus read from as his first public act. Isaiah is inspired by God to bind up the broken-hearted, to free the captives, to feed the hungry. The bishop, a former oceanographer, urged her listeners to make peace with those with different theological positions, to work to end poverty, to fund AIDS work in Africa—to find their true place in the world as they help others find their seat at the banquet table of life. (Read Interview - PDF)


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How to seek daily what we truly desire by Patty de Llosa.

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Parabola in the Classroom

knights_hospitallerDesigned to provide educators access to primary sources from some of the world's most distinguished religious scholars and writers. Two new lessons have just been published...

Future Themes and Submission Deadlines

Fall 2015 - Intelligence: Submissions by June 1. 
Winter 2015-2016 - Free Will and Destiny: Submissions by September 1. 
Spring 2016 - The Divine Feminine: Submissions by December 1.

Fuji Declaration


The initiators of The Fuji Declaration invite the global community to celebrate the inauguration of The Fuji Declaration. The inauguration will be celebrated with three uplifting events leading up to the Symphony of Peace Prayers 2015 where thousands will gather to set in motion a Divine Spark Activation starting from Mt Fuji out to the world.

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