Sample ReadTheSpirit Planner: Nazis, Earth Day, Passover and Paris Hilton, too

The following is a “sample” of our Monday-morning “ReadTheSpirit
Planner” — a free e-mail service that starts your week with a lively
slice of news about spirituality and media …

    IF YOU’D LIKE TO RECEIVE our Planner each Monday morning (it’s free and you can un-subscribe anytime) — then, send a quick Email to ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm — and we’ll get our next edition to you on the next Monday morning!

ReadTheSpirit Planner for the week of April 21:

  At a glance, here’s what you need to navigate the world of faith this week …


What’s the Spiritual Season?


Passover began Saturday evening and runs through this week. At ReadTheSpirit, we’re publishing a special Passover series, featuring Jewish stories from Houdini to Rabbi Harvey of the Wild West, who will ride into town later this week.


Bahá’ís are starting the 12-day festival of Ridván today, marking the beginning of the prophetic work of the faith’s founder.


Orthodox Christians have come through Great Lent, preparing for Easter on April 27.


Finally, Tuesday is Earth Day and we’ve been helping readers prepare for the celebration with articles on faith and nature.


Question You May Hear This Week:


“How Can I Make the World a Better Place?”

When TV networks are
coloring their logos green and evangelicals are pushing the issue
harder than mainliners — it’s clear that Earth Day’s message is
ringing loudly across the land. But, this question is larger than Earth
Day! Passover, the Pope and the Dalai Lama all are shaping our answers
to this question.


This Week, People Will Be Talking About:


Nazis and the Challenge of Discerning Evil.

On the first night
after Passover, April 27, the National Geographic Channel and the U.S.
Holocaust Memorial Museum are debuting a stunning documentary about the
Auschwitz photo album that sparked headlines when it came to light last
year. These are newly discovered photos of death-camp officials in
their off hours — and the hour-long film poses challenging spiritual
questions for all of us. This is our top story today.


Rest Your Eyes for a Wave of Books!

In May, a tidal wave
of popular spiritual writers will sweep into stores, including Richard
J. Foster, Geri Larkin, J. Brent Bill, Jack Kornfeld, Joan Chittister,
J. Philip Newell and a new edition of Parker Palmer. Watch our daily
pages for news, reviews and interviews with leading writers.


He’s Everywhere — He’s Everywhere.

In recent years,
Brian McLaren almost seems to be wearing out his name — writing blurbs
and prefaces and articles everywhere we turn. It’s possible you may
“know” him but may not have read his core works. Watch for new
paperback editions very soon of “A New Kind of Christian,” “The Story
We Find Ourselves In” and “The Last Word and the Word After That.”
Learn why this guy became so popular.


BIG themes: Sin and Resurrection.

This big May wave
includes some heavy-duty spiritual themes! Two important new books are
tackling “original sin” — J. Philip Newell in “Christ of the Celts:
The Healing of Creation” and Alan Jacobs in a book he calls, “Original
Sin: A Cultural History.” Then, N.T. Wright takes on “resurrection” in
“Surprised by Hope” while a couple of heavy hitters from Harvard, Kevin
Madigan and Jon Levenson develop a Christian-Jewish dialogue in
“Resurrection: The Power of God for Christians and Jews.”

Stay tuned to ReadTheSpirit to learn more!


Communications Chaos: The Kindle Gap.

At ReadTheSpirit,
we’re reporting from the front lines in the global revolution in
communication. And, just like major “gaps” in the ’50s and ’60s,
there’s a major Kindle Gap in the digital war for religious readers! My
Amazon-Kindle finally arrived a few days ago — after one of those
infamous Kindle shipping delays — and the first 3 items on my shopping
list for this new digital reader were: a complete NRSV Bible, C.S.
Lewis’ “Chronicles of Narnia” (which is red hot right now), and Tony Campolo’s very important recent book, “God of Intimacy and Action.

But, they’re not out in Kindle, yet!

Boy, was I disappointed!

Sure, I could buy both of Rob Bell’s books — bravo to Zondervan for moving so fast! — but I’ve read both Bell books multiple times.

Sure, I could get Paul Ford’s excellent “Companion to Narnia.” But I want the novels to savor before the May 16 movie opens.

Come on, friends in religious media: Let’s get on the stick … errr, Kindle here.

Seriously, I can
envision a lot of spiritually minded readers buying this costly device
— then finding more frustration than inspiration.


Hot Reading:

Lampoon’s Geographic

Well, someone thought this was “hot reading.” Paris Hilton
is part of an extremely elaborate fake magazine hitting stores now —
an effort by the Harvard Lampoon to ask: “So, is Earth Day really a
hoot, or what?” And, “How can we get R-rated photos into the

I’m a some-time fan
of the Lampoon, but am scratching my head over such an expensive
magazine turning ecological awareness into a sex joke. And, speaking of
the Dalai Lama, he’s skewered with a few un-funny shots, too.

The real folks at
National Geographic seem to be taking this in stride. There’s a
one-page ad for the real magazine inside this joke issue, headlined:
“Congratulations Harvard Lampoon. Some people mock the world … Others
explore it. National Geographic.”

I honestly don’t know — is it hilarious or horrible? Please, tell us what you think! 


This Week Inside ReadTheSpirit

Our special Passover series continues.

Rabbi Harvey of the Wild West rides into town in the middle of the week.

You’ll get to meet Jewish memoirist Lynne Schreiber. And, we’ll celebrate Yiddish culture, as well, with Neal Karlen.



Our Latest Stories

Print Friendly, PDF & Email