Paths to Other Mounts

Here, my friends, is a spot from which you can see a bit of the landscape of this mountainous country. Mine, of course, is not the only hill that echoes the voice of God. The Earth is covered with peaks offering vistas, caves underneath them all connected by countless passageways. Here are a few worthy destinations I thought you might like to pursue — a list that will likely be growing from time to time, so check back in on occasion.
St. Scholastica Monastery

This is the website of active-contemplative Benedictine Sisters in Duluth, MN, and it is rich and very varied. Come read about monastic life or Benedictine spirituality. See pictures of the Sisters at home and on Lake Superior. Visit the blog for reflections on all kinds of topics, from liturgy to literature to pulling rhubarb. I love this place. Perhaps, you’ll love it, too.

Ijtihad: A Return to Enlightenment 

This is the website of Dr. Muqtedar Khan, an Associate Professor at the University of Delaware and a Fellow of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, and, devoted to “global Islam” as it relates to America and the affairs of the world, it has everything: Pr. Khan’s column, book reviews, articles, video… This is a place a thoughtful, intelligent, modern Western Muslim reflects on and struggles with the questions we all face in a world where an announcement of Qur’an-burning in Florida triggers riots in the Middle East, where Chechen-American youth explode bombs in Boston, where the Jews and Muslims’ mutual destruction in Palestine determines US elections outcomes, where human rights and religious doctrine have become irreversibly enmeshed. There are sections here on democracy, women’s rights, inter-faith dialogue, Sharia, and more. Come. Read.

Blog “L.B.Carfagna”

This thoughtful, poignant, beautifully written blog touches on all the facets of the diamond of living in today’s America: loving, losing, sharing bread and sharing prayer, fighting prejudice and the system, finding hope, triumph, and strength in ourselves and other people. Written by a Boston-based sociologist, a Christian, and a member of the LGBTQ community, Luka Carfagna’s essays will touch you emotionally, engage you intellectually, and carry you away aesthetically.

Center for Global Ethic

Humanity is comprised of unique and different individuals, cultures, and societies — and yet we have something in common, enough to make us all human, enough to make our languages translatable into each other, to make our religions and music spread around the world, to make us think that some values, like love, are universally good. There are thinkers and organizations around the globe who hope that we have enough in common to allow us to formulate certain universal moral guidelines for humanity — a seemingly more and more urgent necessity in this age of rapidly increasing diversity, globalizing economy and politics, and lightning-speed information and travel. For the first time since the times immemorial, we are becoming one big family again, and we need to get along.

The Center for Global Ethic website provides links to other organizations and scholars who are pursuing the project of formulating and promoting a global ethic. As well, on the right side of the screen you will find a list of documents made available by the Center — essays and dialogues and versions of a global ethic already written. The last on the list is a Declaration of Human Ethic written by yours truly and my associates at Temple University in 2008 (

“Reflections in the Word” Blog

This Christian blog offers general and personal commentary, biblical studies, and spiritual reflections. Brought to conversation by our common love for Jesus, we do not always agree on the details or formulations of our theological schema, and so sometimes RitW and I have interesting dialogue, and sometimes we let our disagreements go. But most importantly, I find that RitW offers up a genuine and open heart, beautiful artwork to accompany thoughtful reflection, inspiration of a life lived for a larger cause than personal advantage, and sometimes an intriguing and fascinating — different — way of looking at things.

The ECUMENE Domain

The ECUMENE domain is an epitome of dialogue. It “provides cyber-homes for organizations dedicated to bridging the ideological boundaries that divide humanity” in the hope that “all human beings can finally begin to see themselves as members of one big, sprawling, diverse, noisy, argumentative, but ultimately caring and mutually supportive family.” Come to this site, read surprising and thought-provoking writing by its creator, Ingrid Shafer (“Metareligion,” “Noogenesis”), then click on Ecumene.Org: A Meeting Place for the World’s Religions and Ideologies to see the list of sites and organizations that might interest you further.


This online Catholic magazine offers a stream of material and discussion — articles, blogs, reviews, reportage — on religion and the Church, politics, culture and literature, and more. It is good, sharp, timely, and doesn’t shrink away from a thorny subject.

Dominican Sisters of Peace

This is the website of one of the two religious congregations I am discerning. On its homepage and under “News and Events -> Resources,” you will find the latest blog entries, articles, videos, bibliographies, and descriptions of events posted by the Sisters. The topics range from domestic violence and calls for social justice to reflections on Church culture, from light and touching bits about sainthood to a detailed interpretation of the history, letter, and spirit of the canon law to produce a statement on conscience and prophetic office. Visit it like you would a blog — you never know what’s next.

Dialogue Institute and Journal of Ecumenical Studies

What efforts in ecumenical, interreligious, and intercultural dialogue the Journal of Ecumenical Studies has been making through scholarship and academic discussion, the Dialogue Institute embodies in practice by organizing and hosting conferences, seminars, training sessions, and multi-cultural events around the world but especially in the Philadelphia area, where both related organizations reside on the campus of Temple University. Visit the JES site for a subscription and back issue contents or the DI site for a newsletter, event updates, pictures, resources, and more.


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