Portuguese writer and 1998 Literature Nobel Prize winner, Jose Saramago, wrote a loose interpretation of the life of Jesus. Some of his provocative additions, that intended to fill up biblical blanks and to present a more human Jesus, resulted in the anathema of Portugal's political and catholic leaders. As a consequence, he left his country and went into exile in Spain where he died some years later.
The elderly and pious Protestant sisters Martine and Philippa lived in a small village on the remote western coast of Jutland in 19th-century Denmark. Their father was a pastor who founded there a Lutheran congregation he wanted to be as rigorous, disciplined, and essential as the first Reformation communities. For this reason, he named his daughters in honor of the Reformers Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon. With their father now dead and the austere congregation drawing no new converts, the aging sisters preside over a dwindling congregation of white-haired believers.
Gregor Samsa, a salesman, is the main protagonist of this story. After a troubled night of disruptive dreams, he suddenly wakes up to the sound of rain hitting the window, only to discover that at some time during the night he had been transformed into a large vermin. He is quite calm about his new body and spends some time in bed reflecting on his life and on his relationships.
Scottish actor and producer Ewan McGregor released, some weeks before Christmas 2016, a streamlined screen adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel, American Pastoral. The movie encapsulates a complex literary masterpiece that was awarded the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for best fiction. McGregor's revisitation puts us, as does the book itself, in front of an old ethical dilemma: the continuity between actions and effects. Can our well-intended actions always produce immediate, direct, and predictable effects?
The unique mixture of Adventist lifestyle characteristics described in last month's column ("Holism, Pro-activity, and Self-esteem") have been recognized, praised, and even raised up as a convincing lifestyle paradigm for non-Adventists. They have been the subject of significant U.S.A.
Nothing seems more easy to be defined than death. According to a common technical description, death is the permanent cessation of all vital functions. This short and unequivocal definition has nevertheless the inconvenience of not giving us the true dimension and real meaning of what death implies.
According to the Spanish essayist and philosopher Miguel de Unamuno (The Tragic Sense of Life in Men and Nations, Madrid 1912), pain is the universal human experience of vulnerability and woundedness. It has an objective dimension usually given by the presence of physical damage and a subjective perception conditioned by the religious, cultural and psychological background of the involved person.
Last Sunday, an average summer day, I was driving with my family from Florence to the Tyrrhenian sea, in the beautiful Tuscany landscape. My thoughts were absorbed in organizing my weekly schedule when suddenly Daniel, my oldest son, put music on for his submissive audience in the car. It was Dream Theather's song, “Peruvian Skies”. Similar to E.