If you could only read one book on the role of religion in the world today, God is Back would be the one to read. John Micklethwait, editor in chief of the Economist and his colleague, Adrian Wooldridge, Washington Bureau chief for the magazine, have continued their many years of writing collaboration on this their fifth book, in which they lay out their purpose as an "attempt to explain. . .
In looking for the right word to describe my response to Barbara Brown Taylor's book, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith, what I have finally settled upon is resonance. Whether in the realm of physics or relationships, resonance is what happens when something moves in such a way that it awakens a corresponding response in something, or someone who is "tuned" to the same frequency (whether it was realized before or not).
Summer is a great time for catching a movie, and a bevy of new films debuting this summer make for a busy season. While big name films like the sixth installment of the Harry Potter series have moviegoers all abuzz, some of this summer's most consequential films might not be coming to a theater near you...yet.
For as long as I can remember I have remembered the Sabbath to keep it holy. Six days I have had to work and play and the seventh has been for Jesus. Growing up a multi-generational Adventist, my understanding of what should not be done on the Sabbath was generally more robust than my concept of what should be done. Even though my wonderful parents did many creative things to make Sabbath a joy, I was painfully aware that the things I thought brought me the most pleasure (from playing sports to watching television) were hardly Sabbath activities.
While this space is normally devoted to film reviews, the following review of young singer Diane Birch's first record is a welcome exception to the rule. -Ed
When I first heard the music of Diane Birch, whose debut album Bible Belt hit stores June 2nd, my first thought was, “I’ve heard this music before.” After listening to several more songs, I thought, “I’ve never heard anything quite like it.” Perhaps her MySpace page puts it best: “Sounds like everything/everyone/nothing/no one.”
A review of Acedia and Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life by Kathleen Norris.
Acedia, in case you didn’t know, is a word that fourth-century Christian monks used to describe a temptation that’s difficult to translate into modern English. The word has been used in lots of ways and contexts since, although it’s fallen out of common use: it’s closely allied to, though not identical with, the Deadly Sin of Sloth, and attempts to explain the concept in a modern context relate acedia to: boredom, laziness, ennui, even depression.