Something is in the water, while a little less is between the ears:
Looking for a wild-and-crazy time at college? Don’t sign up for Justin McDaniel’s religious studies class.
The associate professor’s course on monastic life and asceticism gives students at the University of Pennsylvania a firsthand experience of what it’s like to be a monk. ...
The course, which focuses primarily on Catholic and Buddhist monastic traditions, stems in part from McDaniel’s own history. An expert on Asian religions, he spent a portion of his post-undergraduate life nearly 20 years ago as a Buddhist monk in Thailand and Laos; he says he’s both a practicing Buddhist and a practicing Catholic.
Oh, c'mon, Mr. McDaniel! Set your sights higher, as did Sean Stone, the son of film-maker and conspiracy promoter Oliver Stone, and practice three religions at once:
US filmmaker Sean Stone, son of Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone, converted to Islam on Tuesday in Iran, where he is making a documentary, he told AFP.
"The conversion to Islam is not abandoning Christianity or Judaism, which I was born with. It means I have accepted Mohammad and other prophets," he said in a brief telephone call from the central Iranian city of Isfahan, where he underwent the ceremony.
The first story—which has no mention of God, Jesus Christ, or distinctively Christian beliefs and practices—concludes with this Really, Really Deep Thought about learning about the monastic way of life:
“It’s not about individual restrictions,” said McDaniel. “It’s about building hyperawareness of yourself and others.”
Nifty. But how about also building some awareness of the specific beliefs of Christianity and Buddhism that indicate they cannot, ultimately, be reconciled with one another? As for the second story, one doesn't have to be an expert in Islam to suspect that becoming Muslim does, in fact, involve a certain and obvious rejection of Christianity and Judaism. But, hey, that is just the hyperaware opinion of one CatholicBuddhistHinduScientologistLesbianMarxistRapper.