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.


Written by Jim Davis

June 7, 2009 at 1:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized

9 Responses

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