Oct 03, 2006
Though fans and nonfans of internationally known wildlife enthusiast Steve Irwin had been predicting his demise for quite some time (how long can one tempt the leviathan without a bit of bad luck?), his death on September 4 came as a shock. Especially shocking was the way he was killed: impaled by a stingray, a generally nonaggressive creature. There is nothing amusing in such an irony.
In one of those neglected corners of scripture that must scare those brave enough to think about it, Jesus promises an unpleasant future for those who would not visit him in prison: “Just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me” (Matt. 25:45). Threats aside, Lovett Weems of Wesley Theological Seminary has suggested that renewals of the church have usually been accompanied by increased care for those in prison.
I’m teaching “The Bible and Ethics” this semester with my New Testament colleague Mark Chancey. It should be a pretty straightforward project, since most moral advice in the church begins and ends in scripture. But connecting text and practice in a rigorous way turns out to be surprisingly complex, both for professors and for students.
The taxi drove past a mural of the American flag. There were skulls where the stars should have been and the words Death to America! scrawled across the stripes. It was the only such sign I’d seen in Iran, but at ten stories tall, it made a strong impression. Just then the taxi driver asked me, “Madam, you German?” “No,” I replied hesitantly. “U.S.A.”
Adventures in ministry: A trinitarian perspective: Excerpts from the 8th Annual Christian Century Lectureby William Willimon
For 16 years I have lived under the jurisdiction of the Michigan Department of Corrections. I know firsthand what behaviors are being bred within prisons. I entered the system when I was 18 years old. I spent five years learning from seasoned veterans how to be a better criminal. I was paroled in 1993, and a year and a half later I returned to prison with a life sentence for attempted murder and robbery.
You enter through a door in the back where a big sign says All Prisoners Must Be Shackled. New prisoners are admitted at seven in the evening. There are seven men waiting by the door tonight. Five are white and two are brown. The youngest might be 20, the oldest 60. Four have plastic grocery bags with their personal effects, and one has a brown paper bag. Another cradles his belongings in his arms. The youngest man has no personal effects that I can see.
It was the age of levitations and decapitations, of ghostly apparitions and sudden vanishings, as if the tottering Hapsburg Empire were revealing through the medium of its magicians its secret desire for annihilation.” So writes Pulitzer Prize–winning author Steven Millhauser in “Eisenheim the Illusionist,” one of the finest stories in his 1990 collection The Barnum Museum.
On 9/11 anniversary, calls for education, interfaith efforts: Nation urged to work for peace and justice
Taizé disputes claim founder ‘converted' to Catholicism Describes "originality of Brother Roger's search": Describes "originality of Brother Roger's search"
Vatican astronomer’s backing of evolution no factor in his exit: Coyne to remain chair of observatory foundation
Knit together: Jacqueline Novogratz tells the story of a favorite sweater that she wore for years. When she was 12 she finally donated the sweater to Goodwill. Then, 12 years later, she was jogging in Rwanda and saw a small boy wearing a sweater. She ran up to him and took a look at the collar: her name was on it! For Novogratz, the experience confirmed the interconnectedness of the human family (Atlantic Monthly, October).