When my father boarded a ship to New York in 1938, he brought his trunks of family silver and linens—and his faith. Years later he returned to Germany with my mother and me and showed us the magnificent church where he was baptized, raised and confirmed, St. Mary’s in Lübeck.
Jesus is Christianity’s burning bush. His presence beckons to his followers in each generation, calling them to stand before him fully present and attentive to the rule and realm of God brought near in each encounter with the neighbor.
In the film The Reader, Kate Winslet, playing an SS guard accused of great brutality, says to her meaning-seeking erstwhile partner, “Nothing comes out of the camps.” He wants to have a relationship that can restore their former joy, but in her emptiness she resists.
American and British Jewish groups say they are shocked by a decision of Pope Benedict XVI to overturn the excommunication of a British bishop who has said the number of Jews killed during the Holocaust has been exaggerated.
The protests over China’s human rights record and its treatment of Tibet as Beijing prepares to host the 2008 Olympics underline a key fact: sports and politics are supposed to remain separate, but rarely do.
The Austrian picture The Counterfeiters, which won this year’s Academy Award for best foreign film, dramatizes yet another little-known story of the Holocaust. In “Operation Bernhard” the Nazis assembled a select band of prisoners at Sachsenhausen concentration camp and put them to work producing counterfeit versions of the English pound note and the American dollar bill.
At a family gathering I was teased for reading a recondite book titled Theologians Under Hitler. Who but a theological nerd would choose such a book for vacation reading? I could have replied: “I read the book, now you can see the movie.”
German officials have suspended a lawyer’s passport to prevent him from traveling to Iran to attend a proposed conference questioning whether the Holocaust ever happened. Horst Mahler is a former attorney for the National Democratic Party of Germany, a fringe party that political analysts accuse of having neo-Nazi tendencies.
James Lawson, a retired United Methodist pastor and civil rights leader whose expulsion from Vanderbilt University caused a national furor 46 years ago, will return to the university as a distinguished professor. The Nashville university announced the one-year appointment in mid-January.