"It is the same moon that is reflected in the puddles as in the fountains."
Wits-Ends-Day: Church COVID-19 Survey Results
4 hours ago
"It is the same moon that is reflected in the puddles as in the fountains."
"A good education depends on protecting free speech and the right to read, inquire, question, and think for ourselves."You should read the whole letter that comes from.
"...the primary knowledge about the institutional order ... is the sum total of ‘what everybody knows’ about a social world, an assemblage of maxims, morals, proverbial nuggets of wisdom, values and beliefs, myths, and so forth” (p.65).Let me give you an example of how I undersand what the authors mean. I grew up in a time and place where "everyone knew" -- meaning the grown-ups around me "knew" -- there's no such thing as a ghost. Therefore, if a child is frightened by a "ghost in the closet," her parents assure her nothing is there. The little girl may not be convinced right then, but by the time she is an adult she too will "know" there are no ghosts.
"It seems to me – as a father who has done a lot of reading to his kids over the years – that that kind of decision is up to the parents, not the library. Because here's the truth of the matter: not every parent has the same value system."Let's celebrate our freedom to read!
"Our whole system of government was based on the idea that the purpose of the state was to preserve individual liberties, not to dictate them."
"I believe that every book in the children's area, particularly in the area where usually the parent is reading the book aloud, involves parental guidance."
"Library collections don't imply endorsement; they imply access to the many different ideas of our culture, which is precisely our purpose in public life."
"There had been a moment, many moments really, when truth seized me and I 'conceived' myself as woman. Or maybe I reconceived myself. At any rate, it had been extraordinary and surprising to find myself -- a conventionally religious woman in my late thirties -- suddenly struck pregnant with a new consciousness, with an unfolding new awareness of what it means to be a woman and what it means to be spiritual as a woman" (p. 7).Don't you love that phrase "struck pregnant"? I do. By the way, she and Ann have a new book out, published this month, called Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Memoir.
(1) The Secret Life of Bees was a book I couldn't put down, so it rates 10 of 10.
(2) And because it's such an excellent book, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter rates 9 out of 10. NOTE: I also wrote about this book here, where I gave it a rating of 10/10.
"Calling a council to reform or update the church implicitly accuses those in charge of having failed in leadership, of having failed, in this case, by their very style of leadership. They had remained attached to an autocratic hierarchy commanding exclusively from the top down, a model bequeathed them by Europe's toppled monarchies and shattered empires, an image for the Catholic church transferred nostalgically from the Papal States of the past."
(1) 7 genuine letters ~ written by the radical Paul, himselfThis book is about the "first Paul" in the list above because he's really the only Paul. The authors call him the radical Paul because his ideas are as radical as those of Jesus. The conservative epistles were written later by others who wanted to bring Paul's ideas more in line with the way most people think. The third group, the reactionary epistles, reshaped Paul's ideas as the writers reacted by "correcting" Paul's meanings completely.
Ephesians(3) 3 not written by Paul ~ written by a reactionary "Paul"
"Paul's message challenged the normalcy of civilization, then and now, with an alternative vision of how life on earth can and should be. The radical Paul, we are convinced, was a faithful follower of the radical Jesus" (p. 19)."Normal" was the Roman way of doing things, and Romans had figured out that the way to peace was through war. Their religion led to war, which led to victory, which led to peace:
Religion --> War --> Victory --> PeacePaul offered an alternative:
Religion --> Nonviolence --> Justice --> PeaceInstead of peace through victory, Paul said we need peace through justice.
"There will only be peace on earth, Paul claims, when all members of God's world-home receive a fair and equitable share of its bounty, when all members of God's family have enough" (p. 116).Rated: 9 of 10, an excellent book.
"There will be peace on earth, said Roman imperial theology, when all is quiet and orderly. There will be peace on earth, said Pauline Christian theology, when all is fair and just" (p. 121).
"Rome embodied the wisdom of this world -- the normalcy of this world, the way life most commonly is, the way things are. ... The few dominated the many -- and they achieved their domination through violence and the threat of violence" (p. 135).
"Paul called his hearers to center their lives in God as known in Jesus rather than accepting and living by the wisdom of this world. This is the path of personal transformation" (p. 136).
"...the dominant outlook and shaping perspective of the Gospels is that of Paul, for the simple reason that it was the Paulinist view of what Jesus' sojourn on Earth had been about that was triumphant in the Church as it developed in history. Rival interpretations, which at one time had been orthodox, opposed to Paul's very individual views, now became heretical and were crowded out of the final version of the writings adopted by the Pauline Church as the inspired canon of the New Testament" (p. 4).This short summary doesn't do the book justice, but here's my point: I was fascinated by the ideas in this book and have continued to read about Paul because of it. This week I read The First Paul by Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan, which I will review next. The scholarship in The Mythmaker may be dated (as Crossan said when I asked him today at a lecture in Chattanooga), but it piqued my interest in reading the scholarly works of people like Borg and Crossan, who is also co-author of In Search of Paul: How Jesus's Apostle Opposed Rome's Empire with God's Kingdom.
"Paul was a city person, and the whole of his activity as an apostle was in cities. In this respect he was very different from Jesus, who grew up in a small village and whose public activity was rural, concentrated in villages and small towns in the countryside" (p. 81).
"Bits of butterfly don't generally wind up in books. Moths do, because they come indoors, where books are kept. But butterflies are outdoor creatures" (p. 43).
Yes, I want to go.
There it was, the Decision That Changed Everything. Or as she broke it down to Lola in her Last Days: All I wanted was to dance. What I got instead was esto, she said, opening her arms to encompass the hospital, her children, her cancer, America.
"The first thing I noticed was that I resented following a set path. where was the creativity in that? Why couldn't there be more than one way to go? The second thing I noticed was how much I wanted to step over the stones when they did not take me directly to the center. Who had time for all those switchbacks, with the destination so clearly in sight? The third thing I noticed was that reaching the center was no big deal. The view from there was essentially the same as the view from the start. My only prize was the heightened awareness of my own tiresome predictability.Back at the place where she had begun, she realized, Surely the Lord is in this place -- and I did not know it!
"I thought about calling it a day and going over to pat the horses, but since I predictably follow the rules even while grousing about them, I turned around to find my way out of the labyrinth again. Since I had already been to the center, I was not focused on getting there anymore. Instead, I breathed in as much of the pine smell as I could, sucking in the smell of sun and warm stones along with it. When I breathed out again, I noticed how soft the pine needles were beneath my feet. I saw the small mementos left by those who had preceded me on the path: a cement frog, a rusted horseshoe, a stone freckled with shiny mica. I noticed how much more I notice when I am not preoccupied with getting somewhere" (pp. 57-58).
The beauty of physical practices like this one is that you do not have to know what you are doing in order to begin. You just begin, and the doing teaches you what you need to know. (p. 58)The small labyrinth in these photos is at the Episcopal church near my house, so I set out to do what she suggested. It occurred to me later that I should have walked it barefoot, instead of in my sandals, since another of the author's exercises in awareness is to feel grass on bare feet or (in this case) the roughness of sun-warmed bricks.
"In a world where faith is often construed as a way of thinking, bodily practices remind the willing that faith is a way of life" (page xvi).Rated: 8 of 10, a very good book.
The tale is told from the points of view of the much maligned Morgaine (Morgana Le Fey), Priestess of Avalon, and Gwenhwyfar (Gwynivere), Christian princess and future queen of Camelot. ... Believers of each religion seek to control the throne, but ultimately Christianity ascends to be the organized religion of the land. Since Morgaine is a Druid High Priestess, it would explain why she received such a bad rap in Christian civilization.I came away from the book much more sympathetic to Morgaine, also known as Morgana le Fey, which means "of the faeries." Women such as Arthur's mother, sister, and wife didn't think like the knights of the round table, but had different concerns.
"Original sin is what the minim [heretics, Christians] believe is the nature of man. They say anyone not baptized, even babies, cannot enter the Garden of Eden in the World to Come and must spend eternity in the flames of Gehenna." His voice, which had begun with mild derision, rose into fury. "How can they possibly think the Creator would condemn innocent babes to such torment?" (p. 183)
Was it a good book?Below are deeper questions for specific genres, but first some examples of genres: fiction, history, historical fiction, poetry, science, science fiction, travel, memoir, biography, and literature, which can include nonfiction as well as fiction. Most of what I review is either fiction, memoir, or nonfiction (having taught religions of the world in college, I'm interested in religion, history, and culture). Don't even try to use all these questions for every review, of course, but as tools for collecting your thoughts about a book.
Would you recommend it?
What did you like about it?
What did you dislike?
Tell us whatever you thought.
Properly attended to, even a saltmarsh mosquito is capable of evoking reverence. See those white and black striped stockings on legs thinner than a needle? Where in those legs is there room for knees? And yet see how they bend, as the bug lowers herself to your flesh. Soon you and she will be blood kin. Your itch is the price of her life. Swat her if you must, but not without telling her she is beautiful first.I was walking the treadmill (for my life) when I read this and was absolutely shocked that my eyes teared up. I am so allergic to bug bites that I can feel the difference between a gnat, a mosquito, a flea. So I have killed many in my lifetime. Never once did I say, "You are beautiful," though I have said, forlornly, "Why didn't you stay outside?" (Click to enlarge picture, so you can see her beautiful legs.)