My Earlier Writings


Below are some of my past writings reflecting earlier interests, primarily on the topics of spirituality and politics.

The first four are blog posts from before I changed the orientation of the blog to book and movie reviews (along with my ramblings on my writing career).

Blog posts on politics:

Shifting Power Back to the People (April 25, 2015)

Invisible Political Facts (April 11, 2015)

My Adventure in Joining the Green Party (April 2, 2015)

Creating Your Political Enemy (March 17, 2015)

Blog posts on spirituality:

The Shifting Balance Between Security and Growth (April 16, 2015)

My Quest for the Historical Jesus, in 3 parts (March 20, March 27, and April 6)

Testing the Existence of God (March 14, 2015)

The remainder are articles from before I started the blog.

Articles on politics:

Instant Runoff Will Save Time, Money, Irritation (Eugene Register Guard, June 2008) An op-ed piece promoting the adoption of instant runoff voting.

Instant Runoff Voting and the Renewal of American Democracy (March 2007) Reviews the arguments for instant runoff voting using the most recent research at the time.

Distributive Justice and Property Rights: A Critical Analysis (Faces of Justice Conference, Grand Canyon University, October 2003) Critiques commonly held beliefs in the U.S. about property rights, and develops their logical implications for a just economic system.

The Futility of Empirical Policy Analysis Without Normative Policy Analysis (Public Integrity, v. 4, #2, 2002) Argues that empirical policy analysis cannot produce policy recommendations without relying on hidden ethical assumptions.

Ordinary Jurisprudence and the Democratic Firm: A Response to David Ellerman (Journal of Business Ethics, v. 35, #1, 2002) Critiques an argument of David Ellerman about the ethical grounds for democratic workplaces.

Kelso’s Binary Economy As Social Ethics (Journal of Socio-Economics, v. 29, #6, 2000) Assesses the arguments of Louis Kelso, the “father” of Employee-Ownership Stock Plans (ESOPs), for an economy of widespread capital ownership, rejecting his economic argument and accepting his ethical argument.

A Half Dozen Bold New Ideas for Spreading Capital Ownership, co-authored with Deborah Groban Olson (Business Ethics, v. 14, #5, 2000) Presents a variety of proposals from different sources for spreading capital ownership more widely.

Policy Frames and Ethical Traditions: The Case of Homeownership for the Poor (Policy Studies Journal, v. 23, #3, 1995) Shows how traditional views of the poor in the U.S. affected programs to help them become homeowners.

Articles on spirituality:

Discover Christian Zen (Christian Yoga Magazine, November 2012) How a particular branch of Zen Buddhism came to influence Christian meditation practice.

The Three Aims of Meditation (October 2010) How different virtues are necessary to facilitate each of three aims of meditation: calming the mind, insight, and awakening.

Mindfulness Practices in Counseling: A History and Literature Review (2010) How the Buddhist practice of mindfulness became appropriated for professional counseling in the West.

St. Teresa of Avila on Reaching the Seventh Dwelling Place (Spiritual Life, v. 52, #2, 2006) Examines the advice of St. Teresa, a famous Christian mystic of the 16th century, on reaching maturity in one’s spiritual life.

Adyashanti and Westernized Zen (November 2005) Compares the teaching of Adyashanti, a Westerner who came from the Zen tradition, to a few widely acknowledged Buddhist and Zen teachers of the past.

Christian Mysticism (October 2005) A short piece arguing that mysticism has been integral to Christianity from the start.

Meditation in Christianity (August 2005) Similar to the above article, argues that meditation has been integral to Christian practice from the start.

Beyond Meditation (Spiritual Life, v. 26, #1, 1980) Written when I was 26, this article is an autobiographical account of my early experiences with meditation and my initial encounter with the Christian contemplative tradition.



  1. Patricia Gail Haase March 12, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    Hi Dr. Zundel,
    Looks like you have made interesting changes. I am teaching REL 100 at a community college and loving it. You helped me a lot with my work on Ethics in faith-based organizations. (short, roundish woman who worked in a Christian school) Since you knew me, I have left Christian education, and studied a lot of Hebrew and Judaic religions, as well as commonalities and distinctions between the various other religions. You informally helped me a lot- you won’t remember, but we had some good talks about the benefits of ritual.
    The higher learning commission has changed the minimum quals and soon I will no longer qualify with my ethics degree. I can’t even teach ethics because is not listed as a PHIL or PHI degree.
    I graduated in 2001, and I am trying to make the case that EPS is really a philosophy degree. I was not in on the political maneuvering as the program got kicked back and forth between philosophy and political science. But I graduated the same year that the program got the award from the APA. I can use a philosophy degree plus experience to stay where I am. I qualify for political science, but they are not hiring. Sadly, no one takes those classes.I have taught comparative government for another community college, and that was great. But it went away, too.
    I was wondering what you think? Was EPS a philosophy degree? We spent a great deal of time on critical thinking, the Greeks, Mills, Kant, Hobbes, Hume (I had Craig for many classes), etc.
    I will be reading some of the writings on this page. All are relevant to what I am currently teaching. i wish you happy writing.

  2. Alan March 14, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Hi Gail. I recognized your name right away, although I can’t picture you too clearly. I would say EPS was more of a philosophy degree than polisci, altho it also depends on what coursework a person opted to take. In addition to my PhD in polisci, specializing in public policy, I have an M.A. in polisci majoring in political theory, which is their name for political philosophy. So I drew on philosophy a lot in my classes. The reason they put us in PoliSci Dept was that PoliSci had more students and they wanted me to teach some of their classes. Phil Dept did not have a graduate program, so we kind of functioned as that for students who wanted a Phil grad degree there. Let me know if you’d like me to write a letter or something.

  3. Patricia Gail Haase March 14, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Thank you for responding. Yes, a letter would be very helpful. I sent a friend request on facebook. That way I can message the info. You might remember me as the token conservative in the whole department, or maybe the grad who wrote a 240 page thesis, or the one that you had to use at least 2 red pens to correct and comment on papers.
    I have to tell you that I wish EPS had been more successful. I have benefited so much because of the paradigm shifts presented to me. It is now in my DNA. The foundation of my classes is now a respectful and productive dialogue, listening, and giving benefit of the doubt. Craig Walton 101. I have not been successful on the career ladder, but I have been appreciated for the ability to build bridges and help people listen to each other. I am now the president of the Adjunct Faculty Association for the 10 colleges of Maricopa- just starting my term.

    • Alan March 15, 2016 at 8:48 am

      Yes, I received and approved your FB request. Message me the info and any suggestions for the letter and I will write it up. There was more than one conservative in our grad program! From your description, I would say you have been successful and I think Craig would say the same.


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