Thursday, June 30, 2011

Colleagues List, June 30th, 2011

Vol. VI. No. 38


Wayne A. Holst, Editor


Colleagues List Blog:

My E-Mail Address:



In This Issue -

Special Item This Week:

Book Notice -

"Allah, Liberty and Love:
 The Courage to Reconcile"
 by Irshad Manji


Colleague Contributions:

Miroslav Volf
Jim Taylor
Doug Koop

Net Notes:

Pope Enters Twitter Age
When Our Best Efforts Fail
Ecumenical Rules for Evangelism
St. Paul Fresco Found in Catacomb
Woman Sues Opus Dei for Brainwashing
Interview with Sister Joan Chittister
Cardinal - No Obstacle to Female Priests
Matthew Fox - Speaking the Truth in Love
Truth and Reconciliation Website Launched

Global Faith Potpourri:

Twelve ENI Geneva stories appear this week.

Quotes of the Week:

Bernard of Clairvaux
Gloria Steinem
Ched Myers

On This Day:

June 25, 1876 - 
Custer wiped out by Natives 

June 26, 1963 - 
Kennedy: "Ich bin ein Berliner"
June 27, 1950 - 
Truman brings US into Korean War

June 28, 1919 - 
Treaty of Versailles ends WWI
June 30, 1997 - 
British rule ends in Hong Kong 

Closing Thought - Dietrich Bonhoeffer



Dear Friends:

This is the last issue of Volume VI of 
my religion and culture blog called
Colleagues List. 

Thus far, I have produced 284 issues
in seven years. For the last four years
(new numbering system) my format has 
remained much the same and I have averaged 
a total of 41 issues per annum.

I am still going strong, mainly because
of the support and encouragement I get 
from you my readers.

The next issue in my bi-weekly summer
schedule will be dated July 9th, and
Colleagues List will appear every two
weeks during July and August.


My special item today is a book 
notice on Irshad Manji's latest:

"Allah, Liberty and Love:
 The Courage to Reconcile"

I had hoped to hear her speak in
Calgary Wednesday evening, but 
she had to cancel her visit due 
to illness.


Colleague Contributions:

Miroslav Volf - writes a new book
on how people of faith can serve 
the common good.

Jim Taylor - describes human values,
and how difficult they are to truly
isolate in ourselves and others.

Doug Koop - struggles with many things
as he encounters sexual and gender
issues in our time.

Net Notes:

"Pope Enters Twitter Age" - while he
is a traditionalist in many ways,
Benedict demonstrates great interest
in modern methods of communication
(The Guardian, UK)

"When Our Best Efforts Fail" - I
recently reported on the Supreme
Court ruling against four dissident
congregations in the Anglican diocese
of New Westminster BC. Today, I 
share a message from the website
of one of those congregations - in
the form of a sermon by its rector.
(St. Matthew's, Abbotsford, BC)

"Ecumenical Rules for Evangelism" -
Ecumenical history was made this week
after a joint announcement by Catholic,
Evangelical and Mainstream Protestant
churches of a common approach to
evangelism in an interfaith world
(ENI, Christianity Today)

"St. Paul Fresco Found in Catacomb" -
Long-lost works of art turn up often
in Rome. This one, is the latest
(The Telegraph, UK)

"Woman Sues Opus Dei for Brainwashing
- a French woman may be establishing
a precedent with her recent law suit
(AFP News Service)

"Interview with Sister Joan Chittister"
- a Catholic sister who knows how to
speak truth to power is interviewed
(Publishers Weekly)

"Cardinal - No Obstacle to Female Priests"
- a rather interesting statement by a
Catholic cardinal cautioning, nevertheless
against "undue haste" (Vatican Insider)

"Matthew Fox - Speaking the Truth in Love"
- more wisdom from the trenches from this 
American Episcopalian and former Catholic
(Publishers Weekly)

"Truth and Reconciliation Website Launched"
- as this official inquiry continues to
evolve, it will be possible to follow
developments (Anglican Church of Canada)


Global Faith Potpourri:

Through the services of Ecumenical
News International, Geneva, a total
of twelve stories appear this week.


Quotes of the Week:

Bernard of Clairvaux, Gloria Steinem and
Ched Myers provide food for thought through
the services of

On This Day:

The following stories come to us from
the archives of the New York Times
and were written as events unfolded:

Custer wiped out by Natives (1876) 
Kennedy: "Ich bin ein Berliner" (1963) 
Truman brings US into Korean War (1950)
Treaty of Versailles ends WWI (1919)
British rule ends in Hong Kong (1997) 

Closing Thought - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
shares his view on taking responsibility
and Matthew Fox comments on the great
German theologian's words.

To Canadians, I extend a Happy Canada Day
To Americans, Happy Fourth of July, and
To the rest of you - have a good summer!
(except, of course, you Southerners)




Contact us at: (or)
St. David's Web Address -

Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -


Created and maintained by Colleague
Jock McTavish

NOTE: This page is being reconstructed.



A collection of twenty-five+ studies conducted
since 2000 can quickly be found at:

This collection of study resources represents
a decade of Monday Night Studies at St. David's,
plus extra courses too!

You are welcome to use our course outlines,
class notes and resource pages in your personal
and group reflections.



Book Notice:

The Courage to Reconcile,
by Irshad Manji
Random House Canada, $29.95
June 11th, 2011. 293 pages. 
ISBN #978-0-307-35808-0.

Publisher's Promo:

Among the most visible Muslim reformers 
of our time, Irshad Manji reflects on 
the journey she has taken since her 
previous book catapulted her into the 
public spotlight, drawing on her real-
life encounters with a world full of 
seekers who are struggling, as she has, 
to reconcile faith and freedom. Having 
engaged with politicians, activists, 
families, students, scholars and 
ordinary people of various religions 
and cultures, Manji tells stories that 
are deeply poignant, frequently funny 
and always revealing about the morally 
confused era in which we live. In doing 
so, she paves a path for Muslims and 
non-Muslims to defend the values of 
liberal democracy--and thus discover 
the Allah of liberty and love. Above 
all, Manji shows that by participating 
in this signature cause of the 21st 
century, individuals can embark on a 
journey of their own towards moral 
courage. Allah, Liberty & Love is 
ultimately a book about how to become 
a gutsy global citizen working for 
both personal and world peace. Manji 
has faith not just in Allah, but also 
in her fellow human beings. Prepare 
to be informed as well as inspired.


Author's Words:

Allah is the name for God - the 
universally shared God of liberty and love. 
Not exactly the perception that many people 
have of Allah, I realize.

But as I'll strive to show, God loves me
enough to give me choices and liberty to
make them. In turn, I am to love God's
other children  enough to have faith in
their ability to make choices.  Love,
then, obliges me to do two things at once;
champion freedom for more than just myself
and challenge power-mongers who steal
choices from you and me.

In these topsy-turvy times, the link 
between liberty and love has to be
explored with clarity. As I'll show,
my ebullient relationship with Allah
helps me do that.

- from the Author's Note


An agnostic friend introduced me to the 
concept of "moral courage," a phrase I'd
never heard. Robert F. Kennedy described 
moral courage as the willingness to speak 
truth to power within your community for
the sake of the greater good.

Moral courage allows each of us to tap 
our consciences, to replace conformity
with individuality and to draw closer
to the Source that created us by coming
to know ourselves. It dawned on me how
necessary moral courage is for anybody 
who wants to live with wholeness -
integrity - whether within a religious
tradition or outside of religion

I threw myself into research about how
previous movements for freedom had
succeeded. Martin Luther King Jr. came
alive for this Muslim girl, as did some
of his teachers: the philosopher
Socrates, the theologian Reinhold
Niebuhr, the novelist Lillian Smith,
who campaigned to reform a culture of
"honour" in the U.S. South - the source
of long-standing racial segregation. I
also learned from Islam's Gandhi -
Abdul Ghaffar Khan...

I've learned to ask these questions -
Why should I risk my reputation to
tell the truth? How do I deal with
community disapproval? What's God 
got to do with any of it?

Muslims and non-Muslims need each
other to widen the circle of the free.

You too can live faithfully free -
whatever your faith.

Moral courage is urgently needed, and
it starts with love. But to be truly
courageous, love needs to be (joined) 
by thinking.

I would like to share with you 
seven lessons for living with moral
courage and hope that even more of
you will join me...

- from her Introduction
  "From Anger to Aspiration"

Irshad Manji at Berkeley (2005)


My Comments:

Irshad Manji is a Western Muslim. Her
educational, religious and political
values have been profoundly shaped in
a North American ethos.

She reads Socrates (of course medieval
Muslims did too), theologian Reinhold
Neibuhr, and civil rights leader Martin 
Luther King, Jr. 

Unlike many Muslims, for her the name 
"God" and "Allah" are interchangeable. 
Her Islamic faith shares many of the 
same values as liberal Christians.

She is part of a new and growing 
generation of Muslims who have been
raised in the West and are very much
at home here.

It was only a matter of time that people
like Manji would emerge, and we who are
spiritual but not Muslim can rejoice in
that. Western Muslims are bridge-persons
of sorts with those many millions of
Muslims who harbour a great suspicion of 
the West and what it represents to them 
in today's world.

The danger, of course, is that fellow-
Muslims will reject her and her ideas
as much as they may recoil at the rest 
of us. Manji realizes this, yet she is
who she is. She continues to grow in
her ability to relate to people of
other faiths or no faith. She is quick
to assimilate into her Muslim worldview
much of what is advocated by western 
democratic liberals.

Manji is passionate about her faith, but
she opposes exclusivism and bigotry in
all faiths. She stands as living proof -
against the views and arguments of some
new atheists and conservative Christians
alike that Islam is a violent religion 
and that Muhammad was a terrorist.

Her faith is a kinder, gentler version -
and one that many of us would like to
believe exists in Islam generally.


As I read this book, I remain somewhat
cautious about placing Manji and Islam on 
precisely the same page. Sometimes, in our 
efforts to reach out to others, we are not 
always totally authentic representatives 
of the faith we claim to represent. 

But who is an "authentic representative?"

Perhaps she serves best as a kind of
"bridge-person" - leading to a global
future that will transcend East and West,
Islam and Christianity. I hope so.

I honour Irshad for her obvious bravery
and determination. Also, I see in her
the desire to grow and be continually
shaped by her experience. She calls
it the way she sees it, and you cannot
hold that against her.

I am proud that Irshad is a Canadian
and a Muslim shaped in a North American
ethos. My only reservation is that you
read her as a harbinger of a better
future, but not a full representative of
mainstream Islam today, even in the West. 


Read a review of her book:

"Just What is an Islamic Reformer?"
Globe and Mail, June 25th, 2011


Visit the author's website:


Buy the book from



New Haven, CT

New Book Announcement
Publisher's Weekly Notice
June 29th, 2011

How Followers of Christ Should 
Serve the Common Good
Miroslav Volf. Brazos, $21.99 
(192p) ISBN 978-1-58743-298-9
Religious perspectives properly belong 
in the public sphere, Volf (Exclusion and 
Embrace) argues, because religions often 
foster healthy social environments. While 
acknowledging that Christianity has been 
historically complicit in coercive 
conversion, Volf focuses on internal 
religious “malfunctions” that have allowed 
such unfaithfulness. When Christians lose 
sight of their faith’s prophetic edge, 
substitute idols for God, use faith as a 
“crutch,” or resort to violence, they 
corrupt their faith, Volf contends. 
Although writing from an explicitly 
Christian perspective, Volf cites 
scholars such as Mohammad al-Ghazali 
and Moses Maimonides to emphasize that
individual and communal flourishing 
constitutes a defining concern of many 
religious traditions. Volf also engages 
antireligious arguments from thinkers 
such as Marx and Nietzsche. With a 
goal of generating hope for Christian 
communities in today’s pluralistic world, 
Volf encourages Christians to share and 
receive gifts of spiritual wisdom, to 
speak truth in their distinct religious 
voice, and to live generously with 
people of other faiths. This insightful 
exploration of how Christians may 
faithfully engage today’s political 
and pluralistic culture provides 
accessible, wise guidance for people 
of all faiths. (Available in August)

Okanagan, BC

Personal Web Log
June 29th, 2011

"Deeper and Deeper Roots"
 Locating our true values


Winnipeg, MB.
June 28th, 2011

"Confused, Conflicted and Christian"
 Difficult Modern Issues in Sexuality



Pope Joins Twitter Generation

The Guardian, UK
June 29th, 2011



Dr. Trevor Walters, rector
St. Matthew's Anglican, 
Abbotsford, BC

Sermon following the decision
of the Supreme Court of Canada -
His congregation must exit building


Protestants and Catholics Cooperate

Ecumenical News International
Geneva, June 29th, 2011

Christian bodies agree on code of conduct 
for evangelizing

Geneva (ENI news) - Three organizations, 
representing about 90 percent of world 
Christianity, launched on 28 June a 
global code of conduct for proselytizing 
in a bid to reduce tensions between 
different religious convictions. "Today 
represents an historic moment in our 
shared Christian witness. This is the 
first time that a document has been 
issued by the World Council of Churches 
(WCC) together with the World Evangelical 
Alliance (WEA) and the Pontifical Council 
for the Interreligious Dialogue of the 
Holy See," said Cardinal Jean-Louis 


Cooperation in Mission from an 
Evangelical Protestant Perspective

Christianity Today
June 29th, 2011



The Telegraph
June 28th, 2011



June 26th, 2011



June 29th, 2011


But take it slow. Don't rush it

Vatican Insider
June 25th, 2011


"I don't need to look over my
 shoulder any more...

Publishers Weekly
June 29th, 2011


Follow a very significant process 
of listening to the victims

Anglican Journal
June 28th, 2011



"A New Harmony: The Spirit, the Earth,
and the Human Soul," by John Philip Newell. 
Jossey-Bass, $19.95 US 224 pages. 
ISBN 978-0-470-55467-8.
Newell (Christ of the Celts) has become 
the premier writer of Celtic spirituality 
since the untimely 2008 death of John 
O’Donohue. A poet, he has a natural lyric 
voice as he ranges over his subject and 
its main themes of creation and oneness. 
This is not new--indeed, it’s very old in 
Christianity, and it provides a sylvan 
break from contemporary debates over 
social issues, hell, and atheism. 

Newell’s is a loving vision. It nonetheless 
looks suffering "straight in the face," a 
phrase he borrows from writer Etty Hillesum, 
a Dutch Jew who perished in the Holocaust. 
He recognizes both balm for suffering and 
inevitable brokenness. His theology includes 
a provocative understanding of sin as 
“sundering,” a breaking apart of unity, citing 
both the word’s etymological root and the 
visionary priest Teilhard de Chardin. He is 
deeply dependent on the great psychologist 
Carl Jung and uses his own dreams as a means 
of understanding what God is saying, an 
approach that requires deep honesty. 

Newell will not be everyone’s draught, but 
those inclined to the unifying vision of 
Celtic spirituality will want to drink 
deeply of him. (Coming in July)


Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
24 June 2011

Chinese house church leaders attend 
rights defense seminar

Hong Kong (ENI). Chinese house church 
leaders attended a training seminar 
from 14-16 June in Zhejiang, an eastern 
coastal province in China, to learn how 
to safeguard their legal rights. 

Participants included pastors and 
leaders from Beijing; six provinces, 
including Hebei and Shangdong; and the 
Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, 
according to a news release from the 
Texas-based organization ChinaAid, 
which sponsored the seminar. Attendees 
studied Article 36 of the Constitution 
of the People's Republic of China, 
which relates to freedom of religion. 


Racism a topic of concern for church 
leaders at conference in Nicaragua

Managua, Nicaragua (ENI). Church 
leaders from across the Americas and 
the Caribbean met yesterday on the 
first day of a conference to discuss 
the violence of racism and the 
challenges it poses for churches 
and ecumenical organizations, 
according to a news release from 
the Latin America and Caribbean 
Communication Agency. The conference 
is sponsored by the World Council of
Churches (WCC) in partnership with 
the Latin America Council of Churches 
(CLAI), and brings together people 
working with Afro-descendent and 
indigenous communities across the

China vows to ordain bishops 
without Vatican's OK

Beijing (ENI). In a move likely to 
aggravate tensions with the Vatican, 
China's state-run Catholic church 
announced on 23 June that it may soon 
ordain more than 40 bishops without 
the approval of Pope Benedict XVI. 
According to the official Xinhua 
news agency, a spokesman for the 
Chinese Patriotic Catholic Assoc.
(CPCA) said the church "faces an 
urgent task" of choosing bishops 
for more than 40 dioceses, and 
planned to do so "without delay." 


28 June 2011

Orthodox churches still support ecumenism, 
theologian says

Warsaw (ENI news) - Orthodox churches remain 
"fully committed" to ecumenical cooperation, 
despite recent disagreements with Protestants, 
according to a senior Orthodox theologian. "It
may appear that some Orthodox churches aren't 
satisfied over moral and ethical issues, and 
this may bring them closer as a family of 
churches. But we shouldn't necessarily see 
this as a form of competition. Although we 
should argue for cohesion within the 
ecumenical movement, we shouldn't see our 
disagreements as a danger to unity. The 
Orthodox churches are more fully committed 
than ever to CEC and will be working to 
strengthen the Orthodox presence," said 
Viorel Ionita, interim general secretary 
of the Conference of European Churches 


Anglican-Lutheran dialogue examines 
service and witness 

New York (ENI news) - The third phase 
of the Anglican-Lutheran International 
Commission wrapped up its sixth and 
final meeting on 25 June in Jerusalem 
by discussing how greater theological
agreement can lead to concerted action 
in ministry. "We are no longer putting 
the same emphasis on reconciling forms 
of ministry. We are now sufficiently 
akin; we need to do actual ministry, 
living and proclaiming Jesus Christ 
in the world," said Canon Alyson 
Barnett-Cowan, Anglican co-secretary 
of the meeting, in an interview. 


28 June 2011

Zimbabwe police bar Anglican pilgrims 
at shrine

Harare, Zimbabwe (ENI news)- Thousands 
of Anglicans resorted to gathering at 
a trade exhibition arena in eastern 
Zimbabwe on 26 June to mark the memorial 
of martyr Bernard Mizeki after riot 
police supporting renegade former bishop 
Nolbert Kunonga set up barricades on the 
road to the official shrine. This is the 
second year that worshippers were banned 
from holding the annual pilgrimage at 
the mission school in Marondera, 80 
kilometres east of the capital where 
Mizeki, a lay catechist, was murdered in 
1896 by villagers who accused him of 
collaborating with colonial rulers. 


Leaders examine religion's place 
in Israeli democracy

Jerusalem (ENI news) - Representatives of 
the three Abrahamic faiths, speaking on 
27 June at the Interreligious Coordinating 
Council in Israel's (ICCI) annual lecture, 
considered the highly sensitive subject of 
religion's role in Israel's 63-year-old 
democracy. Religious leaders can and should 
play an important role in supporting 
democratic values in Israel, said Yair 
Sheleg, a newspaper columnist, senior 
researcher at The Israel Democracy 
Institute and a religious Jew. "We also 
need the collaboration of the religious 
leaders," he said. "They should tell 
their believers to obey democratic 
decisions as a religious principle."


Sudanese clergy seek to give aid 
in South Kordofan

Nairobi, Kenya (ENI news) - The government 
must allow humanitarian access to civilians 
who have been displaced by the fighting in 
Sudan's South Kordofan state, Sudanese 
clergy said, amid reports of continued 
bombardment in the Nuba Mountains. They 
warned that civilians were violently being 
removed from camps and forced to return to 
their homes without any assistance. 

Abortion fight taken up by Russian 
Orthodox and American evangelicals

Moscow (ENI news) - The Russian Orthodox 
Church and American evangelicals have 
allied to defend a traditional definition 
of family and fight abortion inRussia, 
which has one of the highest abortion 
rates in the world. On 29-30 June, the 
World Congress of Families, a Rockford, 
Illinois-based organization that defends 
heterosexual marriage and advocates 
against abortion, will be holding a 
conference called the "Moscow Demographic 
Summit: Family and the Future of 
Humankind," organized together with 
the Moscow Patriarchate and other 
Russian supporters of traditional 
concepts of family life.


29 June 2011

Dalai Lama to host 11-day peace festival 
in U.S. capital

Washington, D.C. (ENI news) - The Dalai Lama 
will visit Washington, D.C. next month for 
an 11-day rally that is being billed as "the 
largest gathering for world peace in history." 
The 6-16 July "Kalachakra for World Peace" 
aims to "amplify the profound, unshakable 
commitment of (the Dalai Lama) to values 
such as love, compassion, wisdom and 
interfaith harmony," according to publicity 
materials, Religion News Service reports.


Churches fear financial ruin 
in Liechtenstein

Warsaw (ENI news) - Churches in one of 
the world's smallest countries could 
face financial disaster under government
plans to withdraw state subsidies under 
new legislation, according to a Protestant 
leader. "This will be a drastic change - 
we depend on financial support, and 
there'll be no chance of obtaining it 
if the new law goes ahead," said Markus 
Meidert, president of the Evangelical 
Lutheran Church of Liechtenstein, a 62 
square-mile Alpine principality that 
joined the United Nations only in 1990. 



Provided by

June 25th, 2011

"Zeal without knowledge is always 
less effective, less useful. Often 
it is found to be very harmful. 
Wherever zeal is most fervent and 
the spirit most vehement, there 
the need for knowledge's oversight 
is all the greater. Knowledge 
restrains zeal, tempers the spirit, 
orders charity."

-  Bernard of Clairvaux, 
   "On the Song of Songs"


June 27th, 2011

"The first problem for all of us, 
men and women, is not to learn
but to unlearn."

- Gloria Steinem


June 29th

"Mark's story of Jesus' last days … 
is an intensely political drama, 
filled with conspiratorial backroom 
deals and covert action, judicial 
manipulation and prisoner exchange, 
torture and summary execution …And 
we do well not to forget that this 
very narrative of arrest, trial, 
and torture is still lived out by 
countless political prisoners 
around the world today."

- Ched Myers, writing in 
  "Binding the Strong Man"



Provided from the archives
of the New York Times

June 25, 1876, Lt. Col. George A. Custer 
and his 7th Cavalry were wiped out by 
Sioux and Cheyenne Indians in the Battle 
of Little Big Horn in Montana.


June 26, 1963, President Kennedy visited 
West Berlin, where he made his famous 
declaration: "Ich bin ein Berliner" 
(I ama Berliner).


June 27, 1950, President Truman ordered 
the Air Force and Navy into the Korean War 
following a call from the United Nations 
Security Council for member nations to 
help South Korea repel an invasion from 
the North.


June 28, 1919, the Treaty of Versailles 
was signed in France, ending World War I.


June 30, 1997, in Hong Kong, the Union 
Jack was lowered for the last time over 
Government House as Britain prepared to 
hand the colony back to China after 
ruling it for 156 years.



We have learned a bit too late in the day
that action springs not from thought but
from a readiness for responsibility...
Silence in the face of evil is itself evil:
God will not hold us guiltless... 

Not to speak is to speak
Not to act is to act

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Good intentions, understanding and
sympathy become meaningless without
expression in deed.

- Matthew Fox