Conventional wisdom holds that when times get bad, people turn to religion. But that’s not the case in religion publishing. Like other business executives in the current economic doldrums, religion publishers are cutting expenses in the face of declining sales.
In this award-winning memoir, Joan Didion, a premier observer of contemporary life, witnesses death. It walks into her New York apartment on December 30, 2003, approaches the dinner table and claims her husband of 40 years, John Gregory Dunne, who falls dead of a heart attack. Didion presents with dry clarity what happens in the year after that.
It’s amazing and comforting to realize that world religions scholar Huston Smith, 84, has been toiling in the fields of the Lord for more than 40 years, teaching more than one generation of students and readers the many names by which the Lord is called.
Are the poor blessed or lazy? The prevailing answer in America is lazy. The welfare revolution of the past decade put the poor to work. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 changed the social support system. As the name of the law implies, people are held personally responsible for getting out of poverty by taking advantage of work opportunities.
Funding for the 1996 law that changed welfare had an expiration date of September 30, 2002. So last year, Congress had an opportunity to renew and revise the system. The House and Senate disagreed, however, about funding amounts and changes for the system.
Welfare reform has triggered experimentation by states, which are responsible for its administration, and copious research about what works. In this search for effective answers, the prevailing way of thinking about welfare and poverty has also cast a spotlight on religious congregations and the potential support they provide.
The entertainment business is not usually thought of as a missionary enterprise, but talk-show host and media queen Oprah Winfrey is a woman on a mission. It says so right in her magazine’s table of contents: “This month’s mission . .
The enormity of the events of September 11 sparked unprecedented demand for books on Islam and the Middle East. For a while in fall 2001, books about Islam, Osama bin Laden and Afghanistan made bestseller lists, as readers played catch-up by devouring university or specialty press titles by scholarly and policy experts.
There's somebody for everybody--an intention that cuts many ways--in this latest encyclopedic offering from eminent Notre Dame theologian and historian Richard P. McBrien, general editor of The Encyclopedia of Catholicism. This book aspires to cover the saintly waterfront.
I read Sarah York's Pilgrim Heart while I was on vacation two miles above sea level in the Rocky Mountains--a great place to read an elevating book. One of the pilgrimages York writes about so eloquently took her to far loftier heights. She writes of the rigors and rewards of trekking in Nepal and Thailand, where deep poverty and hospitality exist side-by-side.