Fundamentalism

Known as both a provocative religious leader and a respected spiritual iconoclast, Irwin Kula has inspired thousands nationwide using Jewish wisdom in ways that speak to modern life.  He is the author of Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life (Hyperion, Sept. 2006), which won a “Books for a Better Life Award,” and was selected as one of “10 Best Spiritual Books of 2006.” Featured in the public TV special, “The Hidden Wisdom of Our Yearnings,” and the acclaimed film, Time for a New God, he ranked No. 8 in the “Top 50 Rabbis in America,” listed in Newsweek, and was named by Fast Company magazine and “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly” (PBS) as one of the new leaders shaping the American spiritual landscape. A regular on The Today Show, he is the co-host of Hirschfield and Kula: Intelligent Talk Radio (KXL, Portland, OR), and hosted his own public TV series, Simple Wisdom with Irwin Kula. Rabbi Kula is the President of CLAL, The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership.

  • Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

Unfortunately right now religion is rearing a very ugly head again in the world and including here in the United States. And that’s because religion is being used to legitimate people’s group identity, people’s political identities and hardening them rather than actually destabilizing all identities so that we can actually develop new sorts of relationships across every possible boundary. I work on the reimagining of religion that way. The shame is now we have a split worldwide, but a real split in this country between what I called “fundamentalists” – religious fundamentalists. We know who they are. They actually know exactly what the God they believe in says all the time forever. And then we have secular fundamentalists. They are just as certain as religious fundamentalists about what the God they don’t believe in says. And I think the real challenge is most of us are not fundamentalists of either stripe. We’re trying to make our way in the world. And religious wisdom, and tradition, and practice actually is just one really potentially important tool or resource to help us navigate that way. And I like to create that kind of dialogue between wisdom and the practice in people’s real lives. Recorded on: 8/15/07


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