Cover image for Opening the doors of wonder : reflections on religious rites of passage
Opening the doors of wonder : reflections on religious rites of passage
Magida, Arthur J.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Berkeley : University of California Press, [2006]

Physical Description:
294 pages ; 24 cm
The author explores rites of passage in America by sifting through the accounts of influential thinkers who experienced them. He explains and compares the underlying theologies, evolution, and actual practice of Jewish bar and bat mitzvahs, Christian confirmations, Hindu sacred thread ceremonies, Muslim shahadas, Zen jukai ceremonies, and other contemporary rites of passage. In rare interviews, renowned artists and intellectuals such as Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, holistic guru Deepak Chopra, singer Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), actress/comedienne Julia Sweeney, cartoonist Roz Chast, interfaith maven Huston Smith, and many more talk intimately about their religious backgrounds, the rites of passage they went through, and how these events shaped who they are today.
Sometimes, the magic works -- Christianity : soldiers for Christ. Descent of the spirit ; No fundamental, life-changing experience / What makes someone give up their religion? / Religion saturated the house / That soldier-of-Christ, slap-across-the-face stuff is sick / Wal-Mart-ization of the church / Judaism : Would Anne Frank sing karaoke? What, really, is a man? ; I'm tone-deaf to belief / I was like a spy, like a closet Jew / I wanted to make my parents proud / "You are a woman" meant "You do the dishes" / Mushrooms gave me what I could have had at my Bar Mitzvah / Israel and I came of age together / I am not God's policeman / Hinduism : coming to Brahma, knowing Nirvana. Thread of life ; Religion is frequently idiotic / Buddhism : original perfection versus original sin. Waking up ; Born a Buddha, die a Buddha / I looked like Henry Miller in drag / Islam : seven essential words. Allah is one ; Just being sentient is cause for rapture / Floating on a cloud of mercy / I feel like a monotheist with extra credentials / Would anyone riding by on a horse even notice?
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