Sunday, April 26, 2009
Called the "poet laureate of medicine" by The New York Times, Dr. Oliver Sacks has transformed our understanding of the human mind through his writings about the far boundaries of neurological experience. In his latest book, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, he tells the stories of neurologically damaged people who have lost their memory, and sometimes their ability to speak, but are still able to remember and produce music. Sacks tells the story of the surgeon struck by lightning and suddenly obsessed with classical music, and the man whose memory scans only seven seconds—except when playing music. He shows us how our worlds are poised precariously on a little biochemistry, and that music may be our best medicine.
Dr. Oliver Sacks, professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University; author of Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, as well as The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat and An Anthropologist on Mars
Friday, April 24, 2009
Christine A. Scheller | posted 4/24/2009 11:02AM
When he was 13 months old, my son Gabriel had his first life-threatening asthma attack. As my mom and I put finishing touches on dresses and party favors for my upcoming wedding, Gabe grew listless, and his breathing increasingly labored. Throughout that busy day, we blindly took turns calling the doctor and soothing Gabe with home remedies. By nightfall, we were in a hospital emergency room being introduced to the miracles that can be wrought with adrenaline and oral steroids. Gabriel spent the next five days, including the wedding day, recovering in an oxygen tent.
This memory reminds me that joy and pain and illness have always mingled to shape my family. Gabriel is the half-Tanzanian child of a failed college romance. As I wrote in "A Laughing Child in Exchange for Sin" (CT, February 2004), there was no hiding the circumstances of his birth after I married a man who is white like me. There was also no remedy for the pain of those circumstances, other than the salve of love.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
A woman I'll call "Marleen" went to her pastor for help. "My husband is abusing me," she told him. "Last week he knocked me down and kicked me. He broke one of my ribs."
Marleen's pastor was sympathetic. He prayed with Marleen-and then he sent her home. "Try to be more submissive," he advised. "After all, your husband is your spiritual head."
Two weeks later, Marleen was dead-killed by an abusive husband. Her church could not believe it. Marleen's husband was a Sunday school teacher and a deacon. How could he have done such a thing?
Tragically, studies reveal that spousal abuse is just as common within the evangelical churches as anywhere else. This means that about 25 percent of Christian homes witness abuse of some kind.
Read the whole story here....
Sunday, April 12, 2009
As Christians gather to celebrate Easter this Sunday, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 88% of adults nationwide think the person known to history as Jesus Christ actually walked the earth 2,000 years ago. That's up five points from a year ago. Today, 5% disagree and 7% are not sure.
Eighty-two percent (82%) also believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God who came to Earth and died for our sins.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
The Eastern Orthodox Church is one of the largest single Christian denominations worldwide with an estimated 225 million members. As part of their worship tradition, practitioners use music to express the divine — a concept that drives the practice of Byzantine sacred music. According to their belief, liturgical music transcends voices and text to offer a deeper meaning intertwined with the spiritual.
Emily Lowe from the Holy Cross Antiochian Orthodox Church near
April 9, 2009
For many Christians, Easter is the most important religious holiday of the year - a time to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and look forward to the Second Coming. While nearly 80% of U.S. Christians believe that Christ will return to Earth someday, there is less agreement over the timing and circumstances of his return. View the graphic »
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
March 27, 2009
Muslim Priest and Buddhist Bishop-Elect Are Raising Questions About Syncretism
by George Conger
Jesus saves, the Episcopal Church teaches, but a growing number of its clergy and leaders believe other faiths may lead to salvation as well. Long divided and distracted by questions of sexual ethics, the Episcopal Church (along with most mainline Protestant communities) are facing a cultural and theological shift towards religious pluralism--the belief that there are diverse paths to God.
The debate is not just academic. In two current cases, Episcopal clergy are under scrutiny for practicing and promoting other religions. On February 12 a devotee of Zen Buddhism was elected bishop of the Episcopal Church's Northern Michigan diocese. Meanwhile, a Seattle-area priest has been given until March 30 to decide whether she is a Muslim or a Christian as her bishop will not permit her to profess both faiths.
The Episcopal Church's problems with syncretism--the blending of belief systems--comes as no surprise to Wade Clark Roof, professor of Religious Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara and a leading sociologist of religion. "Clearly there are people, including religious leaders, [who find] spiritual wisdom in faiths other than their own," he told Christianity Today.
This openness to other faiths was "in some respects good in an age of global religious diversity when tolerance and respect are essential to our peace if not our survival," he said. There was also something healthy about seeing "Christ in the face of the other," he said, quoting Thomas Merton. "It implies not just acceptance of the religious other, but something of the intrinsic similarities among people despite their differences."
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