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Antonin Scalia and Bill Maher: Two Sides of the (Failure of the) Binary Hermeneutic Strategy

Antonin Scalia and Bill Maher: Two Sides of the (Failure of the) Binary Hermeneutic Strategy

By Tim Morgan…Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia surprised some during his recent interview with New York magazine, including the interviewer herself, in averring that his adherence to “standard Catholic doctrine” includes belief in the devil. During this segment, he attributes the existence of atheism, especially contemporary atheism, to this apparently invisible being’s involvement in current affairs. This assertion has arrested the bemused attention of other media outlets, including CNN, where the title of its selective overview reads, “Scalia says atheism ‘favors the devil’s desires.’”

Alexander McQueen Pre-Fall 2013: Religious Art?

Alexander McQueen Pre-Fall 2013: Religious Art?

By Lauren Cooper, Georgia State University…..The world of high fashion is simultaneously interesting and frightening to me. Designers often send outlandish creations down the runway that elicit oohs and aahs from those select few that “get it.” I have to confess, I usually don’t get it. I have difficulty seeing clothing as art. I tend to see clothing as functional, above all, and I think many people tend to agree with me. However, when I came across images from Alexander McQueen’s pre-fall line, I had to stop and think about it.

The Ghost: Chicago's Most Offensive Hamburger

The Ghost: Chicago’s Most Offensive Hamburger

By Lauren Cooper, Georgia State University….Last week a friend posted a link to a rather interesting article on my Facebook wall—it was an article about a restaurant in Chicago called Kuma’s Corner that is serving a burger called The Ghost. Generally speaking, I’m not usually interested in what eateries in Chicago are serving their patrons, but this particular burger caught my attention immediately.

Benedict to resign, first pontiff since Middle Ages to quit

Benedict to resign, first pontiff since Middle Ages to quit

Reuters) – Pope Benedict, leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, said on Monday he will resign on Feb 28. because he no longer has the strength to fulfill the duties of his office, becoming the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to take such a step.
The 85-year-old German-born Pope, hailed as a hero by conservative Catholics and viewed with suspicion by liberals, said he had noticed that his strength had deteriorated over recent months.

What Should the Vatican Say to the (Last Generation of) Nuns?

What Should the Vatican Say to the (Last Generation of) Nuns?

By Peter Manseau, Religion Dispatches….
I grew up around nuns. My mother had left the convent five years before I was born, but all through my childhood our home was often visited by her “convent buddies,” a dozen or so women who had formed enduring friendships as novices or professed sisters of the Roman Catholic religious orders they had joined as teenagers. Daughters of immigrants from Irish and Italian enclaves, many of them had become sisters for reasons not just of faith, but of education and opportunity. The convent to them had been an unlikely part of the American dream.

By the time I met them, some of these women had left religious life, having shed their habits in the late 1960s, as my mother had, as if to feel more of the breeze blowing after Vatican II famously “opened the windows of the Church.”

Recovering Catholic Ethos and Practice

Recovering Catholic Ethos and Practice

By Kate Daley Bailey….
My family’s religious affiliation is best described as ‘recovering Catholic.’ While we often say this in jest, I find it compelling that although we may be disillusioned with the papal abuses, restrictive doctrines on women in the priesthood, birth control methods, and various other concerns, my family members who have broken with the church still often identify as Catholic. I think of my Catholicism like some Jews describe their Judaism. Judaism is often described as a religion and a culture… and while many people associate Judaism with the purely religious aspects, Jews who no longer practice the religious prescriptions of their religion may still identify as Jewish. My family often gravitates toward other Catholics, recovering or those still within the Church. We might be done with the Catholic Church but we refuse to give up Catholicism.

The Christian—Pagan Mix-and-Match

The Christian—Pagan Mix-and-Match

Louis A. Ruprecht Jr., Georgia State University…..
After Christmas and Easter, what’s the most important Christian holiday? It’s not really a very Protestant question—since you need saints and Mary, and the whole ritual calendar they entail, to pose it—and even in the Catholic or Orthodox Christian world it depends very much on where you put the question. In Greece the question has a pretty clear answer: it’s August 15, the feast day of the “All-Holy” (Panagia) Virgin Mary. And in Rome it’s equally clear: it was June 29, the Feast of Peter and Paul.

Starving for God: Foodless Dieting For the Soul

Starving for God: Foodless Dieting For the Soul

By Joseph Rosenthal, Georgia State University…..
“Man shall not live by bread alone,” responds Jesus defiantly in the Gospel of Matthew (4:4) to Satan’s entreaty to break his forty-day fast. This phrase has been used variously by Christians throughout history as a tribute to the virtues of moderation and as a justification for some of the most extreme forms of asceticism. Dietary practice is the second most popular domain of religiously motivated self-denial, surpassed only by matters of sex and human intimacy. The diversity of rituals, laws, and red tape surrounding the consumption of food ranges from prohibitions of basic food types (e.g. shellfish, pork, alcohol, etc.) to extended periods of fasting. The religious preoccupation with what goes into the body goes well beyond hatred of gluttony, sometimes verging on total caloric restriction.

Retreating to Dzogchen Beara: Eastern Spirituality in Western Ireland

Retreating to Dzogchen Beara: Eastern Spirituality in Western Ireland

By Melinda Rothouse….
From the moment I stepped into the van, I knew I had entered a different world. The other passengers are already well-acquainted with the weekly O’Donaghue bus from Cork to Castletownbere, a little town somewhere far out on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork, Ireland.

Heading home from a day of commerce in the city, many passengers carried loads of shopping bags that filled the narrow aisles while others were making a weekend commute to the Peninsula. A musty odour permeated the vehicle, smoky—dusky, an infusion of cigarette smoke and body odour, perfume and food. Aromas left behind by the countless passengers who made the trip many years past.

Mary Magdalene and Female Authority in the Early Church

Mary Magdalene and Female Authority in the Early Church

By Kate Daley-Bailey….
Abraham’s article awoke anew many concerns I have had with the Catholic Church’s’ ardent fear of the possibility of allowing women into positions of authority in the church. As Abraham so astutely pointed out, the linking of female ordination and sexual abuse of children is startling. Is the Catholic Church launching a preemptive strike against what they fear will be a renewed interest in allowing women into the priesthood? This overreaction led me to investigate the origin of the Church’s fear of women in leadership roles.

Wisconsin on the Map to Pray With Mary

Wisconsin on the Map to Pray With Mary

By Erik Eckholm, New York Times….
On Dec. 8, after a two-year investigation by theologians who found no evidence of fraud or heresy and a long history of shrine-related conversions, cures and other signs of divine intervention, Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay declared “with moral certainty” that Ms. Brise did indeed have encounters “of a supernatural character” that are “worthy of belief.”

Holy Men: Encounters with Pope Benedict XVI and the Dalai Lama

Holy Men: Encounters with Pope Benedict XVI and the Dalai Lama

By Suzanne Degnats
On September 22, 2010, I attended a blessing service given by Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican in Rome. One month later, I attended two sessions with the Dalai Lama in Atlanta, Georgia during his visit to Emory University. Being an outsider both to the Catholic religion and to Buddhism, I found many similarities at the events surrounding these two political and religious leaders.

The Good News of Star Visitors, Part I

The Good News of Star Visitors, Part I

By Kenny Smith….
The Star Visitor races who have commented on the concept of God… uniformly affirm that they, too accept the reality of what Earthlings call God. However, the God they affirm is not the anthropomorphic or patriarchal figure of many Earth religions, but more of a Supreme Source – a transcendent matrix of Consciousness, which underlies everything, and is that which gives essence and specificity to everything, which in turn is a partial manifestation of the Supreme Source. In more experiential terms, the Star Visitors have taken experiencers [those with have had first-hand contact with ETs] and shown them God. The experiencers typically described being in the presence of intense, overwhelmingly brilliant light from which emanates incredibly intense love, such that the experiencer feels lost in the infinite love.

The Politics of Religion: From the Feast of the Assumption to the Ground Zero Mosque

The Politics of Religion: From the Feast of the Assumption to the Ground Zero Mosque

While most Muslim Turks labored to complete their first week of Ramadan during a record breaking heat wave, two branches of Christianity celebrated the August 15th Feast of the Assumption at prominent Christian pilgrimage sites. In Western Turkey, Capuchin Catholic Priests celebrated the Feast of the Assumption at the Our Lady of Ephesus Shrine (Meryem Ana) and in the Black Sea region, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of some 300 million Eastern Orthodox Christians, presided over the Assumption Mass at Sumela Monastery in Trabzon, Turkey.