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August  2010

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Avoiding Old Flames on Facebook

Aug 30 2010
That it's only a virtual friendship is all the more reason to stay away from it.

Toward the end of spring semester, I set a box labeled "I Always Wanted to Ask" on the table at the front of my class. I invited students to write down lingering questions about sex and gender, the subject of our course at Messiah College. A panel comprising five ...

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Simplicity: It's Complicated

Aug 27 2010
When trying to buy and spend less only breeds anxiety, maybe it's time to check motives.

The New York Times recently profiled an Oregon couple who winnowed their possessions down to 100 things, giving away most of what they owned and cozying up in a 400-square-foot apartment. The article discussed new (read: more cautious) spending patterns, spurred ...

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My Encounter with Mental Illness

Aug 26 2010
College is a seedbed for depression. Here's what Christian campuses can do to help.

My freshman year, I spiraled into a clinical depression triggered by an off-campus move. That semester, my lack of finances required moving from the dorms into an apartment across the street from the university. There, I lived rent-free with a generous elderly ...

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Midlife Matters: An Interview with Dale Hanson Bourke

Aug 25 2010
Women who no longer have kids at home should seek new ministry ventures, says the longtime journalist and president of the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia Foundation.

I met Dale Hanson Bourke at a meeting of women involved in promoting women's health and economic empowerment in Zambia. I admired her intelligence, curiosity, and breadth of experience as a journalist and women's health advocate. Later, I traveled to Zambia to ...

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Preserving Man and Beast

Aug 23 2010
Humans are more valuable than animals—which is precisely why we can't be indifferent to animal suffering.

Jeffrey Kluger's recent Time magazine cover story, "What Animals Think," explores new research about the human-like intelligence of animals. A Bonobo (cousin of the chimpanzee) can learn hundreds of words. Dogs demonstrate social skills by following a pointed ...

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Top 10 Posts of the Past 30 Days

Aug 20 2010
Mel Gibson, teen pregnancies, and Disney princesses got our readers talking this month.

Thanks to all our regular readers and stumble-upon visitors for continuing to make Her.meneutics a lively, exciting blog to be a part of! The editors here especially want to acknowledge some new bloggers who have covered topics that matter and know how to start ...

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Have We Forgotten Haiti?

Aug 19 2010
Counteracting our fleeting attention spans.

The hubbub has died down. Other tragedies have struck; our attentions have been averted. A little over eight months ago, Haiti experienced one of the worst natural disasters in history. Since then, Chile, Turkey, and now Pakistan have faced their fair share of ...

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A Theology of Jiggly Thighs

Aug 18 2010
What a graying supermodel can teach Jesus' female followers.

Splattered across the media this week is Kristen McMenamy, a supermodel and mother of three who was featured on the August cover of Italian Vogue. She appears inside in a striking (some say offensive) photo spread, lying on her back against jagged rocks, wearing ...

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How the Movie Partly Redeems 'Eat Pray Love'

Aug 17 2010
The movie replaces Elizabeth Gilbert's self-indulgent writing with a look at how community contributes to restoration.

Eat Pray Love Book Club Discussion: Part 5

Katelyn, I took away much the same idea you did from Eat, Pray, Love: that perhaps our highest selfishness is the belief that without us, everything would fall apart. We are suspicious of her "selfish" decision to essentially ...

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The No-Fault-Divorce Nation

Aug 17 2010
As New York becomes the last state to legalize no-fault divorce, will Americans see a new chapter in our national marriage crisis?

No-fault divorce is now legal in every state, making filing for divorce in America—whether both parties agree or not—simply a matter of getting the proper paperwork.

New York just became the last state to adopt the legislation, passing a bill in early ...

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Snakes on a (Spiritual) Plane

Aug 16 2010
The varieties of Elizabeth Gilbert's spiritual experiences.

Eat Pray Love Book Club Discussion: Part 3

Perhaps because I was once a religious studies student, Eat, Pray, Love reminded me of William James's Varieties of Religious Experience—and, though, the two books have quite different forms, Gilbert's memoir raised ...

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Why We Envy Elizabeth Gilbert

Aug 16 2010
Who doesn't want to bury personal burdens through exotic travel on the company dime?

Like most readers, I devoured Eat, Pray, Love pretty quickly, finding it to be eloquently written, eagerly honest, and fairly perceptive of culture, relationships, and of the self.

Through her engaging memoir, Elizabeth Gilbert invites us all to peek into her self-reflective ...

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'Eat Pray Love' Book Club Discussion

Aug 12 2010
For all the bad and the ugly in Elizabeth Gilbert's 2006 spiritual memoir, I wanted to hold on to the good. Here's what I found.

After finally reading Elizabeth Gilbert's enormously popular 2006 memoir, Eat Pray Love, I could write an entire review about any one of these observations:

  1. The story embodies everything wrong with bourgeois Western spirituality: it's self-centered, consumerist, and privileged without even knowing it.
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India: It's Complicated

Aug 12 2010
By sticking to her ashram, Elizabeth Gilbert misses out - and so do her readers.

Eat Pray Love Book Club Discussion: Part 2

If a young, wealthy woman from India had traveled to the United States because she believed she'd find spiritual enlightenment, stayed for the entire four months of her trip at a retreat center run by a somewhat-controlling ...

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An Open Letter to Anne Rice

Aug 11 2010
What I see when I look at the church.

Dear Ms. Rice:

You don't know me, so please excuse the intrusion. I hope you won't think this too forward, but I read about your recent remarks about quitting Christianity:

For those who care, and I understand if you don't: Today I quit being a Christian. I'm out. ...

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