GOD ONLINE: Exploring media spirituality

Web sites, TV, films, books and the search for meaning.

Zen, yoga, Quakers, Obama

with 9 comments

Politics, entertainment, inspiration, holism: Beliefnet’s Blogs Page has about as much variety as you could want. But some of the selections are bound to raise an eyebrow.

There are obvious choices: columns on Zen, Judaism, paganism and evangelical Christianity. Some Blogare “probablies,” like a conservative Catholic and a progressive opponent. Some are “maybes,” like astrology and yoga as psychotherapy. And some — like finance, nutrition and weight loss — are definite “huhs?”

Still, there are some good decisions, and some surprises.

A good decision: a political forum pitting conservative lawyer Jay Sekulow against liberal lawyer Barry Lynn. Their fencing, especially about Obama and the “culture war,” is spirited but reasonably respectful. And fun to read.

A surprise: a column on self-esteem. On its face, it sounds like the shallowest kind of spiritual fluff. Yet into a recent column, writer Victoria Morgan managed to interweave Hindu and Quaker concepts, plus a quotation by Jesus.

Also intriguing is The New Christians, logging the emergent church movement. Blogger Tony Jones writes simply and engages people who differ from his beliefs — like New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman, who just published a book on contradictions in the Bible.

One problem is how Beliefnet organizes the blogs. Grouping them under five main titles is a good idea. But is “Faith” really that different from “Hope & Inspiration”? Someone should rethink this.

And once you’ve picked a blog, only the most recent post is visible, along with reader comments. If you want more, you’ll have to click the archives. Not a massive issue, maybe, but it can be annoying if you want to follow several blogs. Maybe Beliefnet could give its members an onsite bookmarking page, kind of like delicious.com.

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Written by Jim Davis

June 7, 2009 at 1:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized

9 Responses

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