3 Fresh Ideas about Creative Connection
COVER STORY—For nearly a decade, ReadTheSpirit has covered the rise and fall of new media about religion and cross-cultural diversity. Our online magazine has published thousands of articles and our bookstore now is packed with great books on these themes. In keeping with that mission, this week’s Cover Story features three ideas about the constantly changing nature of our creative connections:
1.) PICTURE A CONVERSATION—Two of our authors, Suzy Farbman and Debra Darvick, collaborated on this week’s first creative story—all about a quest by Debra and her photographer husband Martin to kick-start grassroots conversations nationwide. This story is sure to get you thinking about fresh ways to start talking with friends.
2.) GET NEWS FROM THE WHOLE WORLD—Two veteran journalists in Europe are trying to change the way we all “see” religion news around the world. In fact, ReadTheSpirit is actively helping them in this quest. Their first new project is a Twitter feed that will let you glimpse religion and cross-cultural stories that you would never see without their help. Here’s the story—and you can help them get this project rolling.
3.) WHY WE DON’T DO APPS—The final column about Creative Connections, this week, relates to the latter half of the “rise and fall of new media.” The publishing industry is abuzz in early 2016 about the endangered status of the individually developed content-based App. Here’s that story.
HOLIDAYS, FESTIVALS AND FOOD
DON’T MISS A HOLIDAY! Just remember this simple Web address www.InterfaithHolidays.com to find all of the upcoming holidays, festivals and anniversaries.
LENT AROUND THE WORLD
EAST AND WEST WILL MEET—The majority of the world’s 2 billion Christians follow the Western liturgical calendar; they already have started the Lenten season that leads toward Easter. Stephanie Fenton has that story in our Holidays column. Then, in March, the calendar followed by most Eastern Orthodox Christians also will reach what is known as Great Lent. During this traditional season of reflection, we also recommend Our Lent: Things We Carry, an inspirational book by ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm.
SYMBOL OF THE PRETZEL—The food and drink that we consume, each day, has been woven since ancient times into the world’s great religious traditions. GodSigns columnist Suzy Farbman recently rediscovered the faith-and-food connection with the common pretzel—and shares it with readers.
A New Year
BAHA’I NEW YEAR AND … Baha’is around the world update their religious calendar so that holidays fall roughly in the appropriate seasons. Stephanie Fenton reports both on the upcoming Baha’i New Year as well as the way this religious group adapts its calendar.
CONFRONTING RACISM WITH … INFORMATION—The highly respected Bias Busters team at the Michigan State University School of Journalism is marking this year’s Black History Month by adding a new cross-cultural guide to the growing series. MSU’s Joe Grimm has the story of how this new book was created. AND—You’ll find all of the MSU guides displayed in our bookstore.
TASTE OF GREEK-JEWISH CULTURE
FEED THE SPIRIT—Columnist Bobbie Lewis tells the fascinating, tragic and enduring story of Greece’s Jewish community. She also shares an easy-to-prepare and very tasty bean soup recipe from this ancient corner of the world.
& POPULAR CULTURE
ENJOY DISCUSSING MOVIES? Get a copy of faith-and-film writer Edward McNulty’s new book Jesus Christ, Movie Star—it’s full of thought-provoking reading and questions! AND—enjoy all of the free resources from Ed’s website: www.VisualParables.org
- RACE—If you enjoyed the recent movies about Jackie Robinson, you’ll want to see this movie biography of track star Jessie Owens. Ed gives it 4 out of 5 stars.
- MUSTANG—You’ll have to search to find this French-produced film set in Turkey (which is nominated for an Oscar)—but it’s worth the effort. (4 stars)
- THE FINEST HOURS—There’s “rip-roaring adventure” in this true story of a rescue at sea, plus the cast is terrific. (4.5 stars)
- SIN NOMBRE—Ed McNulty writes: “I wish every American would see this film” about Honduran refugees. (5 out of 5 stars)
- HAIL CAESAR—The Coen brothers have done it again! This is a funny and thought-provoking look at Hollywood’s obsession with the behavior of its stars from the 1920s through the 1950s. It’s also a star-studded ensemble you won’t want to miss. (4 stars)
- BEASTS OF NO NATION—This film is shocking, but it’s also an important and timely story of child soldiers in Africa. (4.5 stars)
- YOUTH—If you like Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel and the thoughtful work of Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, Ed McNulty says: Don’t miss it! (5 out of 5 stars)
- SPOTLIGHT—No question: It’s a deeply troubling true story. But, Spotlight—the story of the Boston Globe‘s investigation into abusive priests—is an important movie. (5 stars)