When Marc Mullinax began teaching at Mars Hill University two decades ago, the school’s Southern Baptist roots were still plain to see in the student body. “I would say eight or nine people out of every 10 in my classes strongly identified as Christian,” says Mullinax, a professor of religion and philosophy. “We had a […]
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The work goes on
The murder of George Floyd, a Black man, by white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25, 2020, spurred nationwide Black Lives Matter protests. In Asheville, Floyd’s murder had the immediate effect of religious institutions looking inward and engaging with their congregations around racial justice. More than a year on from those events, many […]
Letter: We need creative responses to transform our institutions
“I believe preschool and primary grades of schooling are more attuned to children’s needs, but after that, the schools are geared more to fitting children into our dysfunctional and polarized society.”
That ‘friendly’ neighborhood website
Letter: Let’s recognize that we are all humans
“We cannot lose ourselves to the oversimplification of differing political ideologies to the point where we no longer recognize that we are all humans and that we have much more in common than we often choose to recognize.”
Byron Ballard’s latest book gives a prophetic warning
In her new book ‘Earth Works: Ceremonies in Tower Time,’ Byron Ballard forecasts dark days ahead as patriarchy gasps its last breaths. But she also offers hope with practical strategies for rebuilding from the waste.
The changing faces of faith
While Asheville thrives on a diverse spiritual life, shifting demographics and evolving notions of religion’s role in daily life have many historic congregations reconsidering the part they play in local culture — and how best to address a changing community’s concerns.
Lawful house breakfast
A conversation with Clare Hanrahan
If you’ve ever driven past the Vance Monument during one of the many protests held there over the last 20 years, there’s a fair chance that Clare Hanrahan numbered among the folks making their voices heard. For the Asheville resident, writer and activist, visibility is a key tool in the fight against injustice. Hanrahan has […]
Tow and do likewise
Prodigal children: Returning to covenant from the spiritual playground
“Just for the record, I’m spiritual, not religious.” If you live in Asheville, this probably sounds familiar. But when does spiritual exploration become more of a distraction than a path to a deepening connection with others and our best selves?
Letter writer: Sunday Celebrations offer nonreligious alternative
“Many nonreligious persons still enjoy the experience of getting together for fellowship and discourse without using religious language.”
Letter writer: Asheville offers multiple spiritual (and nonspiritual) paths
I enjoyed the cover article for a December issue (posted online on Dec. 24) entitled “Churches in the fall: local churches get back to their roots in a rapidly changing millennial culture” [Dec. 25, Xpress]. Howard Hanger, founder of Jubilee! definitely helps with the hanging chads left behind by more conservative expressions of orthodoxy and orthopraxy […]
Stones and bones: Volunteers help resurrect local African-American history
A revitalized volunteer push is underway to rescue Western North Carolina’s oldest known African-American cemetery from the ravages of neglect and obscurity. The effort includes a new website that features an interactive map of the cemetery and a digital guide to each of its graves.
Video: Did ‘Obama’s spiritual advisor’ go on ‘race rant’ in Hot Springs?
Calling Dr. Jim Wallis President Barack Obama’s “spiritual advisor,” the popular conservative news and opinion website The Daily Caller reported July 7 that the liberal evangelical leader went on a “race rant” at a recent event Hot Springs. But was it really an accusatory, racist rant, from a man “who has the ear of the leader of the free world,” as the website alleges? Or was it part of a constructive dialogue on a tough topic?
WNC religious leaders seek the right to wed same-sex couples in their congregations
This morning a federal challenge to Amendment One was filed in the Western District of North Carolina on behalf of the United Church of Christ (UCC) as a national denomination, clergy from across faith traditions and same-sex couples, according to a press release. The case challenges the constitutionality of marriage laws in North Carolina – including Amendment One – that ban marriage between same-sex couples and make it illegal for clergy to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples within their congregations.
Ralph Burns: A Persistence of Vision
Ralph Burns: A Persistence of Vision, 1972 – 2013, is a new exhibition opening this Saturday, March 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Asheville Art Museum. The show, curated by J. Richard Gruber, Ph.D., the Director Emeritus of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, surveys 41 years of work by Asheville photographer Ralph Burns. Photo: “Baptism #1,” Jordan River, Israel, 1996, silver gelatin print
Martin Luther King Jr weekend events announced
The Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Asheville & Buncombe County has announced several events in celebration Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 20, including a film screening, prayer breakfast and march.
For many leaders and members of the local spiritual and faith community, the crux of spiritual experience comes in standing up for something larger than themselves.