This column is also published on UPI’s Religion and Spirituality Forum. On January 27, 2009 this piece was broadcast on the Persepctives program on KQED FM in San Francisco, CA. Give a listen!
Something in our nature inspires humans to collect religious trinkets—talismans and relics that remind us of life’s transcendent mysteries, or icons through which we glimpse the divine. I’ve got dozens of such pious knickknacks—everything from a small collection of large Bibles to a cross necklace—but I suspect the most important of my faith-based souvenirs is a plastic dashboard Jesus figurine that sits up on the back of my stove between an empty bottle of Calvin beer from Geneva and my daughter’s Albert Einstein action figure.