So to start this blog off, I thought I'd share an excellent article that I came across via my Facebook community, written by an academic colleague of mine. In it, he explores how traditional religious observances such as fasting can be either tools of oppression or tools of radical transformation, depending upon how they are taught, presented and contextualized. He is working within the Muslim tradition, but the questions he asks are most definitely applicable within other faith traditions as well! At least, I certainly find them relevant as a Christian. We have, at least in the Anglican, Catholic, Old Catholic and Orthodox traditions of Christian practice, similar calls to fast and to give alms, and these can, likewise, be mobilized either to support existing structures of power or to challenge them. So I find his questions and thoughts very useful in thinking about how may practice of faith and my activism can inform each other. Anyway, check it out, and may it provoke much fruitful reflection!