Rama Ramanathan

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They conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises

The lectionary readings for Sunday include Hebrews 11:29 to 12:2. Verse 29 is striking. It recounts not the faith of individual persons, but of “people,” of the Hebrews, the Israelites. They are commended for exercising faith. For crossing the Red Sea, “as on dry land.” Their crossing of the Red Sea as the waters parted …

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God as conflicted father and the church as recalcitrant teenager

Lectionary readings for Sunday (tomorrow). Nogalski on Hosea 11:1-11 The images in Hosea 11:1-8 depict YHWH as a tender, loving father in a way unlike any other biblical text. The passage’s form comes close to that of a soliloquy, providing the reader the ability to hear YHWH’s internal struggle over whether to punish his wayward …

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Actually, Annapuranee Jenkins is very newsworthy

Interviewer: What would you say was religious about your mother?Greg Jenkins: Everything that she did was through Christianity. The question “What kind of woman was Annapuranee Jenkins?” has been ringing in my head. Why? Because I write about inquests, a court-centred process whose goal is to find the cause of death of a person. And …

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Today’s Jericho roads, Samaritans, and religious folk

On Sunday, we heard again the text of the story popularly known as “The Good Samaritan.” It’s a story with five characters. They’re not given names like Ali, Ah Chong and Muthu. They’re given designations. The designation of one of them, “Samaritan,” instantly signals to Jesus’ audience a person who’s popularly regarded as vile, evil, …

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Did God approve prostitution as a punishment?

Did God approve prostitution as a punishment? Prophet Amos said something terrible to Amaziah, priest of Bethel, Israel. Claiming to speak for YHWH, Amos said Amaziah’s wife would become a prostitute. And that Amaziah’s children would die violent deaths. And that Amaziah would “die in an unclean land.” All that’s in in Amos 7:7-17, included …

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