Saturday, February 13, 2016

Colleagues List, February 14th, 2016

Vol. XI.  No. 25



Wayne A. Holst, Editor
My E-Mail Address:

Colleagues List Web Site:

"Quicklinks" are included with many items
at the beginning of this issue. To get a more
complete picture, however, scroll down to
find your special selection in the body of
the blog.


Dear Colleagues:

We have entered the season of Lent
and I plan to share some Lenten themes
with you over the course of the next weeks.

But of course, other important religion and
culture themes continue to affect us.


My book notice this week is volume 15
of the Joseph Campbell Collected Works
Series, published late last autumn.

It is entitled:

"Romance of the Grail:
 The Magic and Mystery of Arthurian Myth"
  by Joseph Campbell

I think there are some new discoveries
in store for you with this book.

Scroll down to read the details and my comments.


COLLEAGUE CONTRIBUTIONS - this week are from

Susan Johnson (Winnipeg MB) the national
bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church
in Canada. She has just visited Uganda

Thanks, Susan


Doug Shantz (Calgary AB) is giving his
retirement lecture as chairholder of
Christian Thought at the University of Calgary 
"How Should We Teach Religion?"

A fine job you have done, Doug.


Harry Winter (St. Paul MN) - who writes:
'The Pope refines and makes more ecumenically
  palatable the entry of Anglican priests into the
  Roman Catholic priesthood' -
"Francis Vindicates Anglican Ordinariate"

Your insights are helpful, Harry


Ron Rolheiser (San Antonio TX) tackles:
"On Reading Difficult Passages in Scripture"

A good approach to the problem, Ron


Jim Taylor (Okanagan BC) offers advice on:
"Anger: Breath In, Breathe Out"

As always, your thoughts are appreciated, Jim.


NET NOTES - these items attracted me this week:

"The Post-Secular Life" - some new thoughts
  around an old theme - that of living in the world
  but not being of the world (America Magazine) 


"When Breath Becomes Air" - a new best-seller
  on cancer and its affects on a family, here is
  some backgrounder and a review of the book

  (New York Times Review of Books, Feb. 14/16)

"Review of Book by Andrew Solomon"


"The Pope's Russian Gamble" -
  Francis reaches out to the Patriarch
  of Moscow Kirill after a long, sad
  distance between Rome and Russia.
  (The Tablet, UK)

"Francis to Meet Patriarch in Cuba"
  (Religion News Service)

"Joint Declaration of Francis and Kirill
  From their Meeting in Havana" (Holy See)

"Francis Tells Kirill 'We are Brothers... finally'"
  (National Catholic Reporter)


"What I'm Giving Up for Lent" - Jim Wallis,
  an evangelical Christian, has wise words for all
  Christians. We need to give up "Indifference" -
  (Sojourners Online)


"Peaceful Parting of the Ways" - Wheaton College
  and its cause celebre professor seem to have settled
  their differences this week (Sojourners Online) (plus) a -

"Timeline of the Controversy"

  An unfortunate issue that shouldn't have happened.


"Should Episcopalians Repent?" - we have reported
  here about the Anglican Communion and ECUSA, the
  church forced onto the sidelines. Here is a helpful
  article on the matter of liberals in a global communion 
  (The Christian Century)


"Richard Dawkins Suffers Stroke" - the famous
  'new atheist' from Britain was forced to cancel
  appointments in Australia and New Zealand
  (The Guardian, UK)


"Catholics Return to Hampton Court" - for the first
  time in 450 years, Anglicans have invited Catholics
  to conduct worship on Henry VIII's premises
  (The Tablet, UK)


"Want Romance? Attend Church Together" - in time
  for Valentines Day a new study suggests the
  romantic value of couples jointly attending church
  (Christian Post)


"China's Plans for New Dalai Lama Condemned" -
Tibetan Buddhism and its exiled Tibetan leaders
will continue in spite of Chinese efforts
(UCA News)

Also, from Publisher's Weekly a story about a
person who has worked hard for many years
to share the writings of the Dalai Lama
"Editing the Dalai Lama"


"Einstein's Relativity Theory Confirmed
  This Week" - scientific history was made
  a few days ago.. Here are two helpful
  articles (New Scientist) (and)

  (The Atlantic) "The Dawn of a New Era in Science"


N.T. Wright, W.E.B. DuBois, Desmond Tutu,
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, St. Jerome, Madeleine L’Engle
and Thomas Merton, who share their thoughts with us.

Please scroll down to read them.



From the archives of the New York Times

"Clinton Revamps Historic
  Telecommunications Legislation" 

"George VI Dies; Elizabeth II Succeeds Him"


CLOSING THOUGHT  -  this week is from Dorothy Day

Please scroll to the end of the blog to read her.



Interested in what we're doing?

Please scroll down to the end of the blog.

Continuing Our Program Season -
Winter 2016 Adult Spiritual Development
ACTS Ministry at St. David's
United Church, Calgary


May your Lenten journey this year be meaningful.




Book Notice -

The Magic and Mystery of
Arthurian Myth,
by Joseph Campbell,
edited by Evans Lansing Smith
New World Library, 2015.
282 pages, $22.00 CAD. Hardcover.
ISBN #978-1-60868-324-6

Publisher's Promo:

Throughout his life, Joseph Campbell was
deeply engaged in the study of the grail
quests and Arthurian legends of the
European Middle Ages.
"Romance of the Grail: Magic and Mythology
of Arthurian Myth" - is the newest volume of
the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell.

The book is introduced by Arthurian scholar
Evans Lansing Smith, PhD, the chair of
Mythological Studies at Pacifica Graduate
Editor Evans Lansing Smith collects Campbell's
writings and lectures on Arthurian legends,
including his never-before-published master's
thesis on Arthurian myth, "A Study of the
Dolorous Stroke." Campbell's writing captures t
he incredible stories of such figures as Merlin,
Gawain, and Guinevere as well as the larger
patterns and meanings revealed in these myths.
Merlin's death and Arthur receiving Excalibur
from the Lady of the Lake, for example, are
not just vibrant stories but also central to the
mythologist's thinking.
The Arthurian myths opened the world of
comparative mythology to Campbell, turning
his attention to the Near and Far Eastern roots
of myth. Calling the Arthurian romances the
world's first "secular mythology," Campbell
found metaphors in them for human stages
of growth, development, and psychology.
The myths exemplify the kind of love Campbell
called amor, in which individuals become more
fully themselves through connection. Campbell’s
infectious delight in his discoveries makes this
volume essential for anyone intrigued by the
stories we tell—and the stories behind them.

About the Author:

Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) is widely credited
with bringing mythology to a mass audience
through his books "Hero with a Thousand Faces" 
and "The Power of Myth."

Editor Evans Lansing Smith is the chair of
mythological studies at the Pacifica Graduate
Institute. He lives in Santa Barbara, CA.

Editor's Words:

As I prepared this book, three major points
emerged in my reflection on the material, all
related to the central idea that Campbell's
entire career was generated by his Arthurian

The first point is that those studies opened up
the whole rich world of comparative mythology
to him... (after beginning his work in the
indigenous world of the Celtic peoples of Europe
in 1927). He went to Munich where he learned
that a very different approach to the European
Middle Ages had flourished for more than a

He discovered a focus that was less on the Celtic
backgrounds of pre-Roman and pre-Christian
Europe and much more on establishing Asian
roots for the classic myths.

A variety of scholars were devoted to exploring
Persian,  Babylonian, Arabic, and Hindu texts as
mythological sources.

His time in Munich turned Campbell's eyes
eastward, where in many ways he remained
focused throughout his career...  Campbell's
Arthurian romances took a joint approach from
the perspective of both Celtic and Oriental

The second key point is Campbell's idea that
Arthurian myths represent the world's first
"secular mythology," by which he meant that
the myths were not to be taken literally but
to be interpreted as metaphors of the natural
stages of spiritual growth and development...

The final point was that Campbell found in the
Arthurian poems... was the origins of love
in the western world. It was a special kind
of love combining the sexuality of eros and
the communal service of agape with a special
emphasis on the unique relationship between
two individuals that Campbell called 'amor.'

Amor involves two separate individuals whose
lives are inspired and nourished by their
relationship. Neither is lost is their connection
and both become more fully what they truly
are - and more than they would be without
each other - without sacrificing their discrete

These three ideas are central to Campbell's
work as a whole. His shift from Celtic to
Oriental mythologies in his understanding
of the Arthurian material was a shift that
catalyzed the emergence of Campbell's truly
global, comparative shift on myth in general,
and on the Grail romances in particular, that
has been the shift of his unique genius of
creative synthesis.

(This broadening and deepening of mythological
roots and understandings helps to build bridges
between race, gender and sexual orientation,
ancient and modern Christian traditions like
the Jerusalem and Chaldean, as was well as
between Christianity and the other living faith

- from the editor's Foreword
My Thoughts:

Many of us have been inspired and influenced
by the Celtic spiritual traditions for some time.
Many of us have taken trips to the Celtic Lands
to visit the sites and encounter the sources of
pre-modern Christian Celtic traditions.

We have grown in faith understandings and 
gender awareness (for example) as a result.

Looming behind much of that tradition are the
great Arthurian legends. But what we may not
realize is that there are antecedent spiritual
sources that pre-date and profoundly influence
these Druidic and Celtic sources. Some may
think these originated in the extremities of
north-western Europe (Brittany, Cornwall,
Wales, Scotland and Ireland, etc.) In fact,
Celtic antecedents likely existed in parts
of Asia long before migrating to Europe.

This book suggests that a rich source of these
traditions originated in the Middle and Far-
East; providing background for ancient
Christian and non-Christian faith traditions.

I find this book most revealing as it helps
me to better understand Joseph Campbell's
spiritual quest. That search began almost
one hundred years ago but did not end in
the 1980's when he died. His disciples, like
Evans Lansing Smith, help us to see more
clearly the directions Campbell was taking us.

What Campbell and Smith do, I believe, is to
open new spiritual and psychological vistas - 
pointing us to a united humanity that can
better understand our common origins and
truth sources.

This fifteenth book in the very impressive
Collected Works of Joseph Campbell series
takes us into the backgrounds of the Grail
Romances (Neolithic, Celtic, Roman, Germanic
and Irish, as well as the Troubadour and
Minnesinger beginnings.)

We discover that much of this was reflected
by the knightly/heraldic cultures of Europe.
We see how these major themes can also be
found in South African or Japanese mythologies
(to name a few).

The last section of the book focuses on
"Wasteland" themes that bring us into the
twenty-first century and suggest origins that 
inform much modern drama and cinema (e.g.
T.S. Eliot, Star Wars, etc.)

I have, for some decades, read and taught
the writings of Joseph Campbell because
they have helped me better understand my
own Judeo-Christian faith tradition.

It is a rich gift we are offered by the Joseph
Campbell Foundation that keeps uncovering
and publishing new Campbell resources.
These transport us more deeply into our
shared humanity that will hopefully contribute
to both inner and global peace and healing.
Buy the Book from


Susan Johnson
Winnipeg, MB

Lutheran World News
January 28th, 2016

"Meeting People Behind the Numbers"
  - commenting on a visit to Uganda


Doug Shantz
Calgary, AB.

Swanson Lecture in Christian Spirituality
Chair of Christian Thought,
University of Calgary

"How Should We Teach Religion?"

Harry Winter
St. Paul MN.

OMI US Province Newsletter
February 10th, 2016

The Pope refines and makes more ecumenically
palatable the entry of Anglican priests into the
Roman Catholic priesthood.

"Francis Vindicates Anglican Ordinariate"


Ron Rolheiser
San Antonio, TX

Personal Website
February 8th, 2016

"On Reading Difficult Passages in Scripture"


Jim Taylor
Okanagan, BC

Personal Web Log
February 10th, 2016

"Anger: Breath In, Breathe Out"



Living Both Worldly and
Counter-cultural Engagement

America Magazine,
February 22nd, 2016


Backgrounder to Cancer Bestseller

New York Times Review of Books
January 22nd/February 14th, 2016

"Review of Book by Andrew Solomon"

Francis Reaches Out to Kirill

The Tablet, UK
February 11th, 2016

"Francis to Meet Patriarch in Cuba"

Religion News Service
February 5th, 2016

"Joint Declaration of Francis and Kirill
  From their Meeting in Havana"

Web Site of the Holy See
February 12th, 2016

"Francis Tells Kirill 'We are Brothers... finally'"

National Catholic Reporter
February 12th, 2016
Indifference - says Jim Wallis

Sojourners Online
February 11th, 2016


Wheaton, Prof Settle Differences

Sojourners Online
February 10th, 2016

"Timeline of the Controversy"


American Liberals in a Global Communion

The Christian Century
February 1st, 2016


Forced to Cancel Appointments

The Guardian, UK
February 12th, 2016


First Anglican Invitation in 450 Years

The Tablet, UK
February 11th, 2016


Study Supports a Valentines' Approach

Christian Post
February 11th, 2016


Buddhism and Exiled Tibetan
Leadership Will Continue

UCA News
February 12th, 2016

Publisher's Weekly,
February 10th, 2016

"Editing the Dalai Lama"

Two Helpful Articles

New Scientist
February 10th, 2016

The Atlantic,
February 10th, 2016

"The Dawn of a New Era in Science"


Provided from Sojourners and the
Bruderhof online:

Love is not merely the Christian duty;
it is the Christian destiny.

- N.T. Wright


To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor
race in a land of dollars is the very bottom
of hardships.

- W.E.B. Du Bois


Forgiving is not forgetting; its actually
remembering -remembering and not using
your right to hit back. Its a second chance
for a new beginning. And the remembering
part is particularly important. Especially if
you don't want to repeat what happened.

- Desmond Tutu


The moment we begin to fear the opinions
of others and hesitate to tell the truth that

is in us, and from motives of policy are
silent when we should speak, the divine
floods of light and life no longer flow into
our souls.

- Elizabeth Cady Stanton


Be on your guard when you begin to
mortify your body by abstinence and
fasting — lest you imagine yourself to
be perfect and a saint — for perfection
does not consist in this virtue. It is only
a help, a disposition, a means, though
a fitting one, for the attainment of true

- Saint Jerome


If God’s peace is in our hearts, we carry it
with us, and it can be given to those around
 us, not by our own will or virtue, but by the
Holy Spirit working through us. We cannot
give what we do not have, but if the spirit
blows through the dark clouds and enters
our hearts, we can be used as vehicles of
peace, and our own peace will be thereby
deepened. The more peace we give away,
the more we have.

- Madeleine L’Engle (quote one)

What happens to all my prayers – those
that are not answered, and those that
seem to make things worse than anyone
ever anticipated? Surely they are still
sustaining me. Perhaps there will be
unexpected answers to them, answers
I may not even be aware of for years.

I cannot believe they are wasted or lost.
I do not know where they have gone, but
I believe God holds them, hand outstretched
to receive them like precious pearls.

- Madeleine L’Engle (quote two)


Do not be too quick to assume that your
enemy is an enemy of God just because
he is your enemy.

Perhaps he is your enemy precisely because
he can find nothing in you that gives glory to
God. Perhaps he fears you because he can
find nothing in you of God’s love and God’s
kindness and God’s patience and mercy and
understanding of the weaknesses of people.

Do not be too quick to condemn people who
no longer believe in God, for it is perhaps your
own coldness and avarice, your mediocrity and
materialism, your sensuality and selfishness
that have killed their faith.

- Thomas Merton



From the archives of the New York Times

"Clinton Revamps Historic
  Telecommunications Legislation" 

"George VI Dies; Elizabeth II Succeeds Him"



The sense of futility is one of the greatest
evils of the day... People say, “What can
one person do? What is the sense of our
small effort?” They cannot see that we can
only lay one brick at a time, take one step
at a time; we can be responsible only for
the one action of the present moment.

- Dorothy Day



Continuing Our Program Season -
Winter 2016 Adult Spiritual Development
ACTS Ministry at St. David's
United Church, Calgary


Theme: "The Other Two Religions of Jerusalem"
                Judaism and Islam

Books: "Chosen? Reading the Bible
              Amid the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict"
              by Walter Brueggemann

             "Islam: A Short History"
               by Karen Armstrong
A  ten-week investigation into the religious 
sources of modern global unrest centered
in the Mid-East:

Ten Monday evenings, 7-9PM
In the St. David's TM Room
January 18th - March 21st, 2015
Including Monday of Family Weekend

Books and Registration/Hospitality - $60.00
Books only - $35.00

Total book sets made available for sale: 32.
All sets have now been sold.

Now beginning seventeen years
of Monday Night Studies
Our thirty-second series of
(usually) ten week sessions!

Course design:

Check our complete archives
for all 46 book studies:



Theme: The Book of RUTH and other
Hebrew Bible themes of justice for
vulnerable people in society

Five sessions 10-11 AM
Gathering at 9:30AM
In the St. David's TM Room
January 28th - February 25th.

No charge.

Study resource -

The DK Complete Bible Handbook

(copy available in our church library)

The Bible Study Group provided the
service reflection Sunday, Jan. 17th, 2016
and it was well received.



Something to Anticipate This Year

Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre
Cochrane, Alberta

Mark your calendars!

Sunday February 28th
11:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Theme: "Opening the Jubilee Door:
A Focus on the Ecological Spirituality
of St. Francis of Assisi"

Registration, including lunch and
refreshments during the day - $35.00

Reflections will be led by Susan Campbell
enthusiastic, qualified and new MSF director;
and will include a nature walk.



Coming Soon - our "Memories Project" --
Sight and Sound Packet contributed by those
taking the "Jerusalem and the Lands of Three
Great Faiths" tour last October and produced
by Jock McTavish. 12,000 pictures were offered
and processed.

Available free to all who took and tour with
additional packets at a modest price for those


New Project Later This Winter --

"Where Would You Like to Travel Next?"

Beginning our process to find a destination
for a trip somewhere in the world in 2017.


No comments:

Post a Comment