Vol. VI. No. 7
Edited by Wayne A. Holst
Colleagues List Blog:
AUTUMN READING ISSUE
Personal Book Notice -
"The Moral Landscape:
How Science Can Determine Human Values"
by Sam Harris
Book Announcements -
What Good is God? (Yancey)
American Grace (Putnam & Campbell)
The Case for God (Armstrong)
Redeemed by Fire - Christianity in China (Xi)
The Sexual Person (Salzman & Lawler)
The Amish Way (Kraybill, Nolt & Weaver-Zercher)
Other Articles -
Benedict, a shyer, better pope
Chilean mine rescue unites fractured world
Quebec's Brother Andre - Meaning in miracles
Igloo cathedral construction stalls in Iqaluit
Record number of Finns 'resign' from state church
Williams in India; says violence prompts need for unity
Global Faith Potpourri:
12 stories from Ecumenical News International
Quotes of the Week:
Robert V. Dodd
Dorothy L. Sayers
Thomas A Kempis
On This Day (Oct. 14th - 15th)
Oct. 14, 1964 - Martin Luther King Jr. wins Nobel Peace Prize
Oct. 15, 1964 - Khrushchev ousted; replaced by Kosygin
Oct. 16, 1964 - China detonated its first atomic bomb
Closing Thoughts -
George Burns Comments on "The Good Sermon"
This issue of Colleagues List begins with my notice
of the arrival of "The Moral Landscape: How Science Can
Determine Human Values" by Sam Harris.
I then offer reviews and notices of six other books in
what I am calling an "Autumn Reading Issue."
Reginald Bibby - writes an article on the changing attitudes
of Aboriginals. Their hopes and dreams seem quite similar to
those of Canadian youth in general (Edmonton Journal)
Eboo Patel - mainstream Christian thought continues to
pick up on the multi-faith youth contribution that colleague
Eboo Patel is offering the current political scene in the USA.
St. David's ACTS Ministry and the U of C Campus Chaplains
hope to bring Patel to Calgary soon (America Magazine)
Book Announcements -
"What Good is God?" - Philip Yancey is a long-time favourite
author and we note his latest book (Books & Culture)
"American Grace" - is a new study by Putnam & Campbell on current
American views re "how religion divides and unites us." This book
can help Canadians to more clearly discern their own posture as
distinct from Americans on this subject (ENI; New York Times)
"The Case for God" - Karen Armstrong releases the paperback
edition of her study on God this fall. Read Armstrong to better
understand a return to faith after her "falling-away" from it
(National Public Radio)
"Redeemed by Fire" - the story of Christianity in China -
Lian Xi writes a history of the emergence and growth of the
Protestant faith in China since the ejection of the Western
missionaries after World War II. David Lyle Jeffrey comments.
(Books & Culture)
"The Sexual Person" - in spite of some harsh criticism by the
American Catholic bishops Salzman & Lawler argue that too much
power to define Catholic sexual teaching has been concentrated
in the hands of the bishops (National Catholic Reporter)
"The Amish Way" - Kraybill, Nolt & Weaver-Zercher demonstrate
to a wider religious audience the spiritual values of the Amish
Other Articles -
"Benedict, a shyer, better pope" - Richard McBrien compares and
contrasts the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict XVI
(National Catholic Reporter)
"Chilean mine rescue unites fractured world" - read several
perspectives on the significant news story of the week
(Christian Science Monitor, Wall Street Journal)
"Quebec's Brother Andre" - a visit to St. Joseph's Oratory
in Montreal reveals that foreign, not local, pilgrims
currently promote Brother Andre as a subject for canonization.
Still, his story lends support to Quebec cultural nationalism
and gives new insight to the meaning to miracles - even,
surprisingly, a promoter of his cause by an atheist academic
(Globe and Mail)
"Igloo cathedral construction stalls in Iqaluit" - after a
strong building surge got the new northern cathedral off the
ground following a devastating fire, $1 M is still needed to
complete the job (Christian Week)
"Record number of Finns 'resign' from state church" - in the
wake of a change in church policy to ordain gays living in
same sex relationships, quite a few Finns are leaving
(English Service, the Church of Finland)
"Williams visits India; says violence calls for Christian unity" -
on a trip to India, the Archbishop of Canterbury visited the
Mother Teresa Centre and made comments about the need for Indian
Christians to pull together in the wake of persecution
(Ecumenical News Service, Cathnews Asia)
Global Faith Potpourri:
12 stories appear this week from Ecumenical News International
Quotes of the Week:
Joan Chittister, Robert V. Dodd, Dorothy L. Sayers and
Thomas A Kempis offer insights for us all courtesy of
On This Day (Oct. 14th - 16th)
New York Times gives full background to these events:
Martin Luther King Jr. wins Nobel Peace Prize (1964)
Khrushchev ousted; replaced by Kosygin (1964)
China detonated its first atomic bomb (1964)
Closing Thoughts -
George Burns comments on "The Good Sermon"
I hope you enjoyed my book suggestions this week.
SPECIAL ST. DAVID'S LINKS
Contact us at: email@example.com (or) firstname.lastname@example.org
St. David's Web Address - http://sduc.ca
Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -
ST DAVID'S ACTS WEB PAGE
Created and maintained by Colleague Jock McTavish
ST. DAVID'S 50th ANNIVERSARY
TOUR OF CELTIC LANDS - 2011
We plan a 15-day tour of special Celtic sites
in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England -
April 26th - May 10th, 2011.
A highlight of the tour will be a visit to
St. David's Cathedral, Pembrokeshire. Choir
members from our group will sing at various
informal cathedral events through the day
and at Evensong, on Saturday, May 7th!
Details are presently being finalized with
the cathedral dean, Jonathan Lean.
We are also planning to sing while visiting
Iona, Scotland and the Church of Mary Immaculate
in Inchicore, Dublin, Ireland.
THE 38 PLACES ON THE TOUR ARE NOW SOLD OUT
We have a waiting list for this trip; also an
interest list for other, future tours!
Let me know if you have an interest in exciting
MONDAY NIGHT STUDY
Introducing our New Fall Program at St. David's:
Follow this series by clicking:
LISTENING FOR THE HEARTBEAT OF GOD:
A Celtic Spirituality (Philip Newell)
Including background material from the book:
THE CELTIC WAY (Ian Bradley)
INTROS TO CELTIC SAINTS PATRICK, COLUMBA & DAVID
Join our ten week Monday Night Study, which will run
from September 20th through November 29th
Dr. Wayne Davies, Department of Geography, U of C.
is a native of Wales. He will speak with us at one
session, introducing us to his homeland, and explaining
some of the important sites we plan to visit to maximize
our appreciation of the tour.
This program is being made available for regular
Monday Night study-folk plus those planning to
take the tour of Celtic Lands next spring.
36 persons, representing tour and non-tour participants
are registered for this ten-week series.
This study series is part of our St. David's fiftieth
anniversary celebrations and is available to all!
WEDNESDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY
Announcing our Autumn Series:
"The Book of Genesis"
Primeval and Patriarchal Stories -
Creation, Fall, Flood, Babel
Abraham, Covenant, Ishmael & Sodom.
Join us Wednesday mornings, 9-10 AM
October 6th through December 1st
THURSDAY UNIVERSITY STUDY
Students, faculty and staff
"Becoming Human" by Jean Vanier
(the 1998 CBC Massey Lecture Series)
Thursdays, Oct 21 through Nov 25, Noon-1 PM
Native Centre, Small Boardroom (MSC 390)
Oct 21 – Loneliness, Chapter 1
Oct 28 – Belonging, Chapter 2
Nov 4 – From Exclusion to Inclusion, Chapter 3
[skipping Remembrance Day]
Nov 18 – The Path to Freedom, Chapter 4
Nov 25 – Forgiveness, Chapter 5
A collection of twenty-five+ studies conducted since 2000 can
quickly be found at: http://bookstudies.stdavidscalgary.net/
This collection of study resources represents a decade of
Monday Night Studies at St. David's, plus extra courses too!
You are welcome to use our course outlines, class notes and
resource pages in your personal and group reflections.
THE MORAL LANDSCAPE
How Science Can Determine Human Values
by Sam Harris, Free Press: New York.
$29.99 CAD. 291 pages.
In the aftermath of his first book "The End of Faith"
Sam Harris discovered that most people - from religious
fundamentalists to non-believing scientists - agree on
one point - science has nothing to say on the subject of
human values. Indeed, our failure to address questions
of meaning and morality through science has now become
the most common justification for religious faith.
In "The Moral Landscape" Harris tears down the walls
between scientific fact and human values, arguing that
most people are simply mistaken about the relationship
between morality and the rest of human knowledge.
Harris urges us to think about morality in terms of
human and animal well-being, viewing the experience of
conscious creatures as peaks and values on a "moral
Harris foresees a time when science will no longer limit
itself to describing what people do in the name of
"morality"; in principle, science should be able to tell
us what we ought to do to live the best lives possible.
Bringing a fresh perspective to the age-old questions of
right and wrong, good and evil; Harris demonstrates that
we already know enough about the human brain and its
relationship to events in the world to say there are right
and wrong answers to the most pressing questions of human
life. Because such answers exist, moral relativism is
simply false and comes at increasing cost to humanity.
The intrusion of religion into the sphere of human values
can finally be repelled; for just as there is no such thing
as Christian physics or Muslim algebra, there can be no
Christian or Muslim morality.
Here are the author's main debating points as presented
in his Introduction:
1. Questions about meaning, morality and life's larger
purposes are really questions about the well-being of
conscious creatures (page 1)
2. Values must be translated into facts which are
scientifically understood. The more we understand
ourselves at the level of the brain, the more we see
that there are right and wrong answers to questions
of human values (1)
3. Both religion and classic science are wrong in
discerning moral truth. True science can provide the
moral context for how moral truth is known (2).
Against Stephen J. Gould the scientist, I argue
that science and religion are not different spheres
of influence. They are not "non-overlapping magisteria"
as he has written. This is an unhealthy compromise of
science with religion (6)
4. Human reason is able to discern "the good" from
"the bad" in life (15 ff)
5. I am as much against "soft" science as I am
against "moderate" religion. We live in an either/or,
not a both/and set of circumstances (25)
6. Moral progress is best left to science, not
religion. Our current debate over their relationship
has been a morally dishonest one (25)
In his recent review of "The Moral Landscape" John Horgan
writes in the Globe and Mail (October 9th) that Harris
dismisses post-modernism, which holds that science cannot
"discover" moral truth. He also disclaims moral relativism
with its views that all moral programs are equally valid
Harris claims that questions about values and ethics can be
reduced to questions of well-being. Well-being can be
tested by science and a universal set of transcending moral
truths can be defined.
One of my learnings from teaching several series on
Harris' previous book "The End of Faith" was his challenge
to religious moderates who seek a "compromise" between
faith and science - accepting evolution, and discerning a
God who works with modern science. Harris considers this
attempt at collaboration to be unconscionable.
In this book, Harris takes on modern science and its attempts
at compromise with religion. He believes that efforts by
Stephen J. Gould, for example - to view religion and science
as distinct "non-overlapping magisteria" or two distinct
forms of knowledge - as selling out science to religion.
I plan to teach a follow-up Harris course this winter, using
his new book because I believe he adds new insights to an
important discussion of the relationship between God,
science and morality.
When Harris speaks about scientific facts he means "the
hard facts." He cannot perceive of there being a reality
beyond the one we know through reason. As a person of faith,
I cannot accept this. I can understand his reasoning but I
cannot agree to his first principles. Thus, I believe truth
resides in a transcendent form beyond our human
capacity to comprehend it through reason. Faith, for me,
means the acceptance of this reality beyond our own.
I have been helped by my students to see that philosophy -
going back to the ancient Greeks - has often been an attempt
to free humanity from the moral control of the gods. Since
then, Christian philosophers like Aquinas have attempted to
"domesticate" thinkers like Plato and Aristotle and to use
their rational constructs to provide a basis for understanding
the Christian faith.
Modern philosophers like Nietzsche have declared God and
God-based morality to be dead in the wake of the emergence of
enlightenment science. But again, religious philosophers
have been engaged in constructive attempts to "domesticate"
modern science and to see it as co-existing with faith.
Obviously, Harris does not like faith/science compromisers
whatever their stripe. This opens a spirited discussion on
several new fronts. I hope my students will find Harris a
continuing help, even though I cannot agree with all of
what Harris is currently defending.
I continue to believe that humans need to base their
moral lives on a reality existing beyond this world and
I reject a rational capacity to fully understand its Source.
For me, faith in God is a first principle.
At this point, I would encourage you, my readers, to take
on Harris again. He is less defensive, more refined and
a more challenging read this time than in his first book.
I do not believe that people of faith should study only
the material produced by their own kind on such important
matters as faith and reason.
Buy the Book from Amazon.ca
"Young Aboriginals Share Same Goals
as all Other Canadians"
New Bibby survey reveals cultural changes
The Edmonton Journal
October 10th, 2010
"The Talking Cure"
October 15th, 2010
WHAT GOOD IS GOD?
In Search of a Faith That Matters
by Philip Yancey
Book launches, October 2010
Backgrounder appears in Books & Culture Magazine
October 11th, 2010
HOW RELIGION DIVIDES AND UNITES US
Ecumenical News International
Geneva, October 15th, 2010
Personal ties hold U.S. religious fabric together,
says new book
Cambridge, Massachusetts (ENI/RNS). Harvard University
scholar Robert Putnam has earned a reputation as an expert
on the threads that hold the social fabric of the United
States intact. His 2001 bestseller, "Bowling Alone: The
Collapse and Revival of American Community", drew national
attention to an alarming decline in civic engagement. His
new book, "American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites
Us", with co-author David Campbell plums the apparent
divide between religious and non-religious Americans,
Religion News Service reports. Across 688 pages, the two
argue that Americans honour their neighbours' religious
differences largely because they've cultivated personal
ties across sectarian lines. As it turns out, Putnam, 69,
lives by that same ethic, intentionally shortening distances
between Jews and Christians, Americans and internationals,
heartland believers and coastal sceptics.
"A pair of social scientists explore whether faith builds or
splinters a sense of connection"
New York Times Review of Books
October 10th, 2010
by Robert D. Putnam & David E. Campbell
Reviewed by Robert Wright
THE CASE FOR GOD
An Interview with Karen Armstrong
National Public Radio, Sept. 21st, 2009
Her latest book is now in paperback...
CHRISTIANITY IN CHINA
Books and Culture
October 11th, 2010
Intro to the new book on the growth of
the church in China - "Redeemed by Fire"
by Lian Xi
Commentary by David Lyle Jeffrey
THE SEXUAL PERSON
National Catholic Reporter
October 15th, 2010
by Todd A. Salzman and Michael G. Lawler
Catholic News Service and Georgetown U. Press
"On sexuality, the hierarchy has
usurped the entire teaching office"
Comment by Regina Schulte:
THE AMISH WAY
Patient Faith in a Perilous World
by Kraybill, Nolt, and Weaver-Zercher
America Magazine Book Club Selection
BENEDICT A SHYER, BETTER POPE
by Richard O'Brien
National Catholic Reporter
Oct. 11th, 2010
CHILEAN MINE DISASTER AND RESCUE
UNITES A FRACTURED WORLD
Christian Science Monitor
October 13th, 2010
Viva Chile! They Left No Man Behind
Wall Street Journal
Oct. 15th, 2010
by Peggy Noonan
BROTHER ANDRE AS SAINT
QUEBEC CELEBRATES 'ONE OF ITS OWN'
The Globe and Mail
October 12th, 2010
A man of another era is still an
important Quebec cultural figure
A Queen's university professor who calls herself
'an atheist who believes in miracles' aided the
Globe and Mail
October 15th, 2010
IGLOO CATHEDRAL CONSTRUCTION STALLED
$1 Million Still Needed to Complete Construction
Oct. 13th, 2010
RECORD NUMBER OF FINNS 'RESIGN' FROM STATE CHURCH
Church of Finland News Service
October 15th, 2010
Same sex marriage appears to be the reason...
ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY VISITS INDIA
SAYS VIOLENCE PROMPTS NEED FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
Rowan Williams Visits India
Ecumenical News Service
Geneva, October 11th, 2010
Mother Teresa's tomb is Anglican leader's
first Indian stop
Bangalore, India (ENI). The Archbishop of Canterbury,
Rowan Williams, has begun a 16-day visit to India by
paying tribute to Mother Teresa at her tomb in Kolkata,
the north eastern city once known as Calcutta, the
capital of West Bengal state. "The Archbishop of
Canterbury had expressed a desire to visit Mother
Teresa's tomb first when the trip was planned," Ashoke
Biswas, the Church of North India bishop of Kolkata
told ENI news on 11 October. After praying on 9 October
at the tomb of Mother Teresa, Williams visited the room
of the Roman Catholic nun who would become a Nobel
Peace Prize laureate, and the exhibition on her life
at the Mother House of her Missionaries of Charity.
Oct. 14th, 2010
"Violence against Christians prompts importance of unity"
GLOBAL FAITH POTPOURRI
Ecumenical News International
11 October 2010
Muslims, Christians can tackle conflicts together,
says WCC head
Geneva (ENI). Muslim and Christian leaders need to set
up permanent structures of relating to each other to head
off potential conflicts in a world where religion is often
seen as having a divisive role, the head of the World
Council of Churches has said. "The role of religion in
emerging geo-political contexts is rapidly changing," WCC
general secretary the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit said in a
speech to a meeting in Albania of the WCC's Commission
of the Churches on International Affairs. "While religion
often plays a commendable role as a force for promoting
justice, peace and reconciliation, in the 21st century
its role has been much more divisive," said Tveit, a
Norwegian theologian who took up his WCC post in January.
Pope denounces violence in God's name
at meeting on Middle East
Vatican (ENI). Pope Benedict XVI has denounced violence
committed in God's name, when he addressed around 250
people attending a special meeting of bishops from the
Muslim-majority Middle East. In off-the-cuff remarks,
the Pope referred to, "The power of the terrorist
ideology that carries out violence in the name of God,
but this is not God. These are false divinities that
must be unmasked, because they are not God." At the 10
October Sunday service Benedict spoke about the future
of Christians in the Middle East who made up 20 percent
of the population a century ago, but today account for
less than 6 percent, as war and poor economic conditions
have triggered their departure. Jewish and Muslim
representatives are also attending the 10-24 October
gathering, called a synod.
12 October 2010
Poland's Catholic schools 'can bar homosexual teachers'
Warsaw (ENI). Poland's Roman Catholic Church has defended
the right of its schools to refuse employment to homosexual
teachers, after human rights groups called for the resignation
of a government minister who supports the policy. "We must
defend someone's right to declare their views and convictions
publicly," Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz of Warsaw told the Gazeta
Wyborcza daily newspaper on 5 October. "Under both State and
church law, Catholic schools must clearly state the norms
under which they take on teachers. It's a long time since I
encountered such an attack on a State official because of
something they said." The archbishop was reacting to criticism
of Elzbieta Radziszewska, the government representative for
equal treatment, after she confirmed that Catholic schools
are entitled to dismiss gay or lesbian staff members. She
was also backed by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow,
who praised her for standing up for the rights of Catholics.
Christian communication groups gets first female head
Geneva (ENI). Soon after a study commissioned by the World
Association of Christian Communication found that men continue
to hog the global news headlines, despite the presence of women
growing, the group installed its first female executive head.
The Rev. Karin Achtelstetter, the former director of
communications and editor-in-chief for the Geneva-based
Lutheran World Federation, was installed new general
secretary of WACC in Toronto on 5 October, during an executive
committee meeting. WACC president, Dennis Smith said, "We are
proud that Rev. Karin is not only enormously qualified for the
job, she is also the first woman to serve as the general
secretary of our association." Achtelstetter takes up full
responsibility at the head of WACC on 1 November. She is to
succeed the Rev. Randy Naylor, a Canadian who has served
WACC as general secretary since July 2001. He has been
appointed minister for Parkwoods United Church in Toronto.
Canadian archbishop steps down during abuse investigations
Toronto (ENI). A Canadian orthodox archbishop has stepped
down during a investigation by police and his church into
allegations of sexual abuse involving pre-teen boys about
30 years ago. Archbishop Seraphim Storheim, who is aged 66,
and leads the Archdiocese of Canada in the Orthodox Church
in America, took a three-month leave of absence from his
duties, as of 1 October. The alleged misconduct concerns
two young boys and relates to his time as rector of a
church in Winnipeg, Manitoba. No charges have been laid.
In a public statement released on the church's Web site,
the archbishop said he was stepping aside from all church
duties and suggested health reasons were behind the move.
13 October 2010
Sri Lanka Catholic bishops urge release
of jailed opposition leader
Bangalore, India (ENI). The Roman Catholic Church in
Sri Lanka has joined demands for the release of opposition
leader Sarath Fonseka, the former Sri Lankan army chief who
is in prison after being found guilty by a court martial of
corruption. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka,
in a 7 October statement, made an "appeal for the release"
of Fonseka, who led the Sri Lankan army to victory in 2009
against Tamil rebels who led a 26-year-autonomy campaign.
"We are making this appeal purely on humanitarian grounds,"
Catholic Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo told ENI news.
"We are not making a judgment whether the process is right
or wrong." After being feted as a war hero, Foneska stood
unsuccessfully in a January presidential election against
the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa. The retired general was
arrested the following month in what his supporters said
was a politically-motivated action.
Report finds strong growth in US Orthodox churches
Washington DC (ENI/RNS). America's Eastern Orthodox parishes
have grown 16 percent in the past decade, in part because
of a settled immigrant community, according to new research.
Alexei Krindatch, research consultant for the Standing
Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas,
said the 16 percent growth in the number of Orthodox parishes
is "a fairly high ratio for religious groups in the United
States", Religion News Service reports.
14 October 2010
World churches' leader praises
Nobel Peace Prize for Liu Xiaobo
Hong Kong (ENI). World Council of Churches general
secretary, the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, has welcomed
the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to imprisoned
Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo as a support to those
struggling for freedom and dignity worldwide. At the
same time, in Hong Kong, Roman Catholic Bishop John
Tong has described the award as an honour "for us as
Chinese people" and said he hoped Liu would be
released soon. "I consider this recognition of Liu
Xiaobo to be an affirmation and acknowledgement of
growing respect for human dignity and freedom
around the world," Tveit said, "It also signifies
and underscores the essential parameters that are
needed to ensure development, peace and
reconciliation among peoples and nations."
Utah meeting seeks to unify American Orthodox Christians
Salt Lake City, Utah (ENI/RNS). If a group of Orthodox
Christians meeting in Salt Lake City this week (Oct. 14-16)
has its way, future generations of Greek, Serbian, Russian
and other ethnic faithful all will worship together in a
single American church. A unified church would "honour
and celebrate the multicultural Orthodox community here",
says Bill Souvall, president of the group Orthodox
Christian Laity, Religion News Service reports. "It would
give us a powerful presence in America. Spiritual seekers
and searchers would find us." There currently are 14
Orthodox jurisdictions in America, and each has its own
bishop in the country of origin and its own language, but
the liturgy and doctrines are the same, Souvall says.
"The churches of America should be American. They shouldn't
have all these separate archdioceses." Even so, this push
for unity is not universally accepted.
Film on effects of Afghanistan war
clinches human rights award
Geneva/Brussels (ENI). A documentary film exploring
the consequences of war in Afghanistan, "The Garden
at the End of the World", has earned a 2010 human
rights award from two global Christian communication
groups. It explores the legacy of devastation and
trauma in Afghanistan and illustrates the consequences
of the conflict, and the hunger, homelessness and
lawlessness that it causes. The film was chosen by
the World Association for Christian Communication,
and SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association of
Communication, as their joint Human Rights Award
for 2010. Directed by Australian film-maker Gary
Caganoff, the documentary follows the activities
of two women, Mahboba Rawi, a humanitarian worker,
and Rosemary Morrow, an internationally recognised
permaculturalist, whose work focuses on human
settlement and sustainable agriculture.
15 October 2010
Role of women in food production
noted on World Food Day
Geneva (ENI). Women farmers in Africa produce more
than 80 percent of the continent's food supply, yet
they lack recognition of their property rights, and
are the most affected by hunger and malnutrition,
says Peter Prove, the director of the Ecumenical
Advocacy Alliance. Prove made his remarks to ENI news
ahead of the World Food Day, marked on 15 October by
the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization and
church and civil rights groups around the globe. "Over
one billion people are estimated as chronically hungry
in our world today and women account for 70 percent of
the world's hungry and are disproportionately affected
by malnutrition, poverty and food insecurity," said
Prove. He noted that according to the report of the
United Nations Human Rights Council Advisory Committee,
despite representing the majority of the agricultural
workforce and production, women are estimated to have
access to or to control only five percent of land
There is no absolute darkness in life,
says blind Japanese cleric
Tokyo (ENI). A Japanese pastor who lost his eyesight
as an agronomist in Sudan after taking anti-malaria
medicine says in a new book that there is no absolute
darkness in life. "Christ supported me as I was about
to fall into hell," said the Rev. Yoji Takeoka,
professor emeritus of agronomy at Nagoya University in
central Japan, recalling the time when blindness descended
on him during a visit to Africa in 1992. Takeoka ministered
a church in his home of Nagoya from April 2003 until December
2009 as a United Church of Christ in Japan pastor after
retiring from the university. He has written a book: "By
his bruises: The horizon of overcoming environmentally
caused eyesight loss". It was published on 1 October by
Kirisuto Shimbun Co. Ltd, a Christian publisher in Tokyo.
In the book, Takeoka writes of his experiences in the 18
years since he became blind due to a strong allergy
triggered, he says, by the side effects of malaria-
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
Provided by Sojourners Online:
October 11th, 2010
"We must learn to pray out of our weaknesses
so that God can become our strength."
- Joan Chittister
October 13th, 2010
"Prayer is something more than that which we do with
our minds. It involves our hearts and spirits -- that
deeper part of our personalities to which only the
Spirit of Jesus has access. Prayer in its highest form
requires more than conscious effort. It also requires
the surrender of our innermost selves to Jesus, giving
him permission to make our lives a continually flowing
fountain of unceasing prayer. When we have learned how
to do that, we will have discovered the secret of the
prayer of the heart."
- Robert V. Dodd, Praying the Name of Jesus
October 14th, 2010
"It is curious that people who are filled with horrified
indignation whenever a cat kills a sparrow can hear that
story of the killing of God told Sunday after Sunday and
not experience any shock at all."
- Dorothy L. Sayers
October 15th, 2010
"All men desire peace, but very few desire those things
that make for peace."
- Thomas A. Kempis
ON THIS DAY
On Oct. 14, 1964, civil rights leader Martin Luther
King Jr. was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
On Oct. 15, 1964, it was announced that Soviet leader
Nikita S. Khrushchev had been removed from office. He
was succeeded as premier by Alexei N. Kosygin and as
Communist Party secretary by Leonid I. Brezhnev.
Oct. 16, 1964, China detonated its first atomic bomb.
"The secret of a good sermon is to have a
good beginning and a good ending, then having
the two as close together as possible."
- George Burns