When Boston area artist Paula Rendino needed fresh inspiration more than a year ago, she sought her muse in an unlikely place: seminary. Art school would have been “too boring,” Rendino explained. She yearned to bring fresh depth to her work by pondering spiritual themes.
Up with religion: Religion is now the most popular theme studied by historians, according to a member survey by the American Historical Association. Culture had previously taken the top spot in surveys over the past 15 years. A decade ago only 2 percent of job openings and fellowships posted with the AHA listed religion among the desired specializations; last year, 10 percent listed religion (Inside Higher Ed, December 21).
When Pope Benedict XVI visited Africa last March, he made countless pleas on behalf of the poor and the war-weary. Yet the words that got the most attention were spoken on the papal plane when he said condoms are part of the problem, not the solution to Africa’s HIV/AIDS pandemic.