Afis Andras Visky

Dragi prieteni,
Am marea bucurie de a va invita la un veritabil festin cultural si spiritual, cu un invitat special, prietenul meu Dr. Andras Visky, Director artistic al Teatrului Maghiar din Cluj, fiul pastorului reformat de fericita amintire Ferenc Visky, care mi-a fost mentor in vremea studentiei. Veti descoperit o personalitate fascinanta, din pacate prea putin cunoscuta in spatiul cultural romanesc.

Andras este un fost inginer, devenit poet, dramaturg, antropolog, director de teatru, director de editura si multe, multe altele. Piesele lui au fost jucate nu numai la Cluj, Bucuresti, sau la Iasi, ci si la Chicago, la Londra, sau la New  York City (la faimosul teatru La MaMa).

Cei care doresc sa afle mai multe despre el, o pot face AICI.

Read More…

Posted by: DanutM | 27 March 2015

Rachel Held Evans – On “Going Episcopal”

On “Going Episcopal”.

I share fully Rachel’s feelings on this.

Posted by: DanutM | 27 March 2015

Pentru viață!

DanutM:

Teo Stanciu ne explica de ce a participat la ‘marsul pentru viata’.
Eu unul sunt destul de rezervat fata de asemenea manifestari, desi am participat si eu la ele si poate o voi mai face. Intre altele, vreau insa sa ma asigur ca ele sunt nu doar pentru dreptul la voata al celor nenascuti, ci si al celor care s-au nascut deja – o tema carem din pacate, nu mai este de mult pe agenda crestinilor conservatori de mai nicaieri.

Originally posted on Cu drezina:

IMGP2127Fiindcă am participat la „Marșul pentru viață”, simt nevoia să-mi clarific mie însumi cum înțeleg această idee. Nu încerc să impun convingerile mele și altora și, cred că e important, nu mă fac purtătorul de cuvânt al marșului. Deci aceste opinii nu reprezintă un punct de vedere oficial și nici măcar o dare de seamă sau o concluzie a ceea ce s-a întâmplat efectiv la marșul de sâmbătă, iar enunțarea lor e o încercare de armonizare a teoriei cu practica.

Mediatizarea. Un astfel de marș are un evident și voit caracter mediatic. Când se adună 20 de inși într-un oraș de provincie ca să susțină o cauză, presa poate considera că e vorba despre un incident izolat. Dar dacă se adună câteva sute în câteva zeci de orașe din țară, avem obligatoriu o știre. Iar din această știre, oricât de deformată, aflăm că mai mulți oameni din țara…

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Posted by: DanutM | 27 March 2015

Sindromul defincienței de spiritualitate dobândite

DanutM:

Dyo semnaleaza aici una dintre deficientele cronice ale fundamentalismului american

Originally posted on Frică şi cutremur:

Preluat de pe Facebook Preluat de pe Facebook …

Perspectiva creștină despre lume accentuează faptul că fața unui copil care are sindromul Down este de un infinit de ori mai frumoasă decât cea retușată a unui model de pe coperta unei reviste de modă.

Albert Mohler

Nu, nu ne spune asta. Perspectiva creștină asupra lumii ne descoperă esența unor lucruri nevăzute, ale unor frumuseți decontextualizate. Fraza de mai sus nu e de bun augur. Venită din partea unui lider influent al creștinismului evanghelic conservator, bănuiesc că își va produce efectele nefaste pe o arie largă de înfometați care se hrănesc cu orice lozincă ieșită din gura acestor mari capete luminate ale gândirii creștine. Păcat! Pentru că Mohler ne invită să ne scăldăm în ipocrizia unei mitologii tehnice, contextualiste; estetica pe care ne-o propune se bazează pe tipare clasice, din acelea care umplu mediile conservatoare de pretutindeni și care nu fac altceva decât să ridice…

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This is the summary of a recent article on respecting people with disabilities in religious organisations.

Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi is President of RepectAbility.org USA.

Here are her tips:

1. Communicate that all people are of equal value and are to be respected and openly welcomed. 

2. Work with people with disabilities, not for them. Read More…

Posted by: DanutM | 27 March 2015

Learning How to Think Biblically— Part Five

Learning How to Think Biblically— Part Five.

I believe the battle for the soul of evangelicalism is fought on the grounds of hermeneutics. If this battle is lost, evangelicalism will be relegated to the graveyard of theological and ecclesial history.

I believe Ben Witherington III could be suitable guide in this effort.

Posted by: DanutM | 25 March 2015

Myers-Briggs for the Holy Week Infograph

Holy-Week-MyersBriggs

Posted by: DanutM | 25 March 2015

Was John Stott interested in Orthodoxy?

translating Stott1
Translating for John Stott in Oradea, Romania, 1994

This blog post was prompted by a recent text written on his blog by my virtual friend Carson Clark, who argued, controversially, as he often does, that ‘it seems to him’, ‘Christians need to stop affirming the centrality of the cross’.

Intrigued? Good. Here is Carson’s (I believe) convincing argument:

In the christian life it shouldn’t be the crucifixion, then the rest of Jesus’ story around it. Instead it should be the crucifixion alongside everything else. This alternative framework in no way mitigates the importance or necessity of the crucifixion. It’s not removing the crucifixion from the center. It’s rather putting the putting the other elements beside it in the center.

And he concludes:

I propose a substitution. Instead of the “centrality of the cross,” I suggest the “centrality of Christ”–all of His story recorded in the New Testament, including His incarnation, life and ministry, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension as well as His anticipated Second Coming. Surely the Bible’s entire redemptive narrative points to, culminates in, and centers on Jesus.

On his Facebook wall, Carson invites me and our common virtual friend Charles Twombly, to comment on this, and also includes in the discussion John Stott’s book The Cross of Jesus Christ and his relationship with Orthodoxy.

Here is my response. After a short comment on James R. Payton’s book Light from the Christian East. An Introduction to the Orthodox Tradition, I write:

Returning to your initial discussion on the evangelical ‘centrality of the cross’. I have to say I fully agree. Let me translate here what I have written on my blog on my own theological identity (the text there is in Romanian and I have never translated it; maybe I should). What I do there, among other things, is to present modified definitions of Bebbington’s four descriptions of evangelicalism. Here is how I redefine crucicentrism.

Trinitarian Christocentrism – a theology rooted in the reality of the Holy Trinity, made accessible to us in the person of Christ, the son of God – fully God and fully human, who was revealed to us through his incarnation for us in history, through the virgin Mary; through his sinless life; through his sacrifice in our place on the cross; through his resurrection which overcame death; and through his ascension, which made possible the coming of the Holy Spirit, through whom Christ is ever present in and with us,in order to sanctify and transform us, as members of his mystical body, the Church, according to his image.

I admit it is quite convoluted, but, as you can see, my main contention is that the entire work of Christ, the Son of the Father, from his incarnation in the power of the Spirit, to the sending of the Spirit following his ascension – not just the redemptive sacrifice on the cross – should be at the centre of our theology.

Charles responds too to Carson’s invitations, commenting on Stott:

Danut knew “Uncle John” better than I did (being one of his “boys”), but we’re both strong admirers, I’m sure. Stott must be measured in terms of his time: he worked within the limits of his experience (as we all do).

While studying theology at Cambridge, he basically skipped the lectures and studied on his own since he was out of sympathy with many of his teachers. A shame in a way, since CH Dodd and Charles Moule were among them.

Eastern Orthodoxy wasn’t on his radar, I’d guess, even though there was a thriving interchange between Orthodox and Anglicans in England in those days, represented most especially by the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius.

Interestingly, Michael Harper (a one-time curate of Stott’s at All Souls) moved on to be a major leader in Britain’s charismatic movement and then moved on again, years later, to become an Antiochean Orthodox and prominent in the “move East” of Brits and others. Not sure Stott paid much attention to either of these.

I think he had the “English disease” when it came to theology. Despite his great book on the cross, his interests and reading were almost wholly exegetical (as represented by the books in his study, which I examined–see next paragraph). Historical or systematic theology was not high on the priorities list.

My most precious memory of him was the forty-five minutes he gave to me in ’73 when I visited his townhouse and discussed with him my possible call to the “priesthood” (a term he didn’t like). He is a great hero to me, though I’ve moved in different directions.

I must confess I have the same feelings as Charles for ‘uncle John’. I have great respect and admiration for him, but I have moved theologically in a quite different direction than him.

Here is what I have added, in response to Charles’s comments:

Yes, Charles, as a Langham scholar, I had the undeserved privilege to meet uncle John a number of times in my life, twice of these in his home close to All Souls in Langham Place, which was my church during my theological studies.

John Stott
Talking with uncle John is his office

The first time I have visited him together with another Langham scholar, my friend Silviu Rogobete, who wrote his PhD on Staniloae’s ‘ontology of love’.

Stott & Tofana
Uncle John & Fr Stelian Tofana

The second time I have visited uncle John with another dear friend, the Orthodox Fr. Stelian Tofana, the most important Romanian Biblical scholar, who was supported financially by John Stott to spend two months at Tyndale House in Cambridge. One Sunday, since I was myself working on my doctorate at London School of Theology, uncle John suggested that I should bring Fr. Stelian to meet with him.
Besides these visits, I have listened to him many times preaching, both in Romania, before the fall of communism, and after, when I translated for him during his visit at Emmanuel University in Oradea, where I was teaching, and many other times at All Souls.

I was always fascinated with his sermons. He impressed me as a person who was coming from the presence of God – that is what I would call a prophet. He was clear, warm and confident in his sermons. When he preached at All Souls, the church was absolutely full – sanctuary, balconies and the hall downstairs.

I must confess I was never attracted by his books. They seemed to dry to me compared with his live sermons. I think he could have done better with a less stiff editor (whoever that was).

Although he was very knowledgeable theologically, uncle Stott never pretended to be more that a Bible teacher. I tend to agree. This was not a statement of humility (although he was a very humble man), but one of reality.

I never got the impression that Stott was interested at all in Orthodox theology or, as Charles rightly says, generally in systematic or historical theology. We all have our blind spots, don’t we?

Posted by: DanutM | 24 March 2015

What Is Real Anglicanism?

anglican

This post is inspired by a series of recent posts by Scot McKnight on the nature of Anglicanism.

If we are to believe Michael P Jensen, the rector of St Mark’s Anglican Church in Sydney, Australia, and a member of the (very) reformed Gospel Coalition, but I hope we do not have to, Anglicanism is just a peculiar variation of Calvinism. No surprise there, for one of the promoters of the Sydney kind of fundamentalist/(ultra)conservative Anglicanism.

Here are the 9 points in Jensen’s article, as sumarised by  Scot McKnight:

1. Since the arrival of Christianity in Britain in the 3rd century, British Christianity has had a distinct flavor and independence of spirit, and was frequently in tension with Roman Catholicism.

2. The break with Rome in the 16th century had political causes, but also saw the emergence of an evangelical theology.

3. Anglicanism is Reformed.

4. Scripture is the supreme authority in Anglicanism.

5. Justification by faith alone is at the heart of Anglican soteriology.

6. In Anglican thought, the sacraments are “effectual signs” received by faith.

7. The Anglican liturgy—best encapsulated in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer—is designed to soak the congregation in the Scriptures, and to remind them of the priority of grace in the Christian life.

8. Anglicanism is a missionary faith, and has sponsored global missions since the 18th century.

9. Global Anglicanism is more African and Asian than it is English and American.

Read More…

“Just a touch of wildness” — Did Evelyn Underhill inspire C. S. Lewis? | Carl McColman.

Interesting.

Posted by: DanutM | 23 March 2015

Scot McKnight – Three Terms for “Church” Today

Allow me to use three Greek terms to describe how church is not only understand but practiced today. If you observe the practice you can describe the understanding behind it. Each is an expectation that can be met by participating in that expectation. I offer today some thoughts about three models of church at work in our minds and our practices, and send you to A Fellowship of Differents for an exposition of the third sense.

Leitourgia

That is, church is worship service. The Germans calls this Gottesdienst, and many Americans when they say “church” mean “going to a church building on Sunday morning for a worship and sermon service.”

Some leitourgia models focus on worship order (the liturgical, lectionary model, eucharist-focused) while others focus on the sermon.

No matter what is believed, for many “church” means the leitourgia. It means what happens when Christians gather on Sunday morning to sing, read Scripture, hear a sermon, and for some participate in eucharist. Read More…

Posted by: DanutM | 18 March 2015

Terje Sorgjerd – The Mountain

This man climbed the highest mountain in Spain and captured this. It took him 7 days to film the whole thing, during which he only slept 10 hours. It’s renowned as one of the best places in the world to photograph stars.

Terje Sorgjerd on Facebook:

This was filmed between 4th and 11th April 2011. I had the pleasure of visiting El Teide.
Spain´s highest mountain @(3718m) is one of the best places in the world to photograph the stars and is also the location of Teide Observatories, considered to be one of the world´s best observatories.

The goal was to capture the beautiful Milky Way galaxy along with one of the most amazing mountains I know El Teide. I have to say this was one of the most exhausting trips I have done. There was a lot of hiking at high altitudes and probably less than 10 hours of sleep in total for the whole week. Having been here 10-11 times before I had a long list of must-see locations I wanted to capture for this movie, but I am still not 100% used to carrying around so much gear required for time-lapse movies.

A large sandstorm hit the Sahara Desert on the 9th April (bit.ly/g3tsDW) and at approx 3am in the night the sandstorm hit me, making it nearly impossible to see the sky with my own eyes.

Interestingly enough my camera was set for a 5 hour sequence of the milky way during this time and I was sure my whole scene was ruined. To my surprise, my camera had managed to capture the sandstorm which was backlit by Grand Canary Island making it look like golden clouds. The Milky Way was shining through the clouds, making the stars sparkle in an interesting way. So if you ever wondered how the Milky Way would look through a Sahara sandstorm, look at 00:32.

Posted by: DanutM | 17 March 2015

Are You A Google Power User?

Google search infographic

Posted by: DanutM | 17 March 2015

The Enormity of Nature in Yosemite

DanutM:

Brittany writes about Yosemite, a place I was not yet able to see. Maybe, some day.

Originally posted on Brittany From Boston:

DSC_0319

Yosemite means “the killers” in the Native American language of the land’s former inhabitants. Were they killers or were they misunderstood and labeled killers by the intruders that wanted part of this gorgeous land? Maybe they killed to protect this land. Maybe they knew then what millions of visitors from around the world see now at Yosemite National Park, that this land is special and needs protecting.

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Before I even enter the park, the surrounding area begins to impress. We drive around the sides of mountains, winding up further into the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Out the car window I see mountains lined up, the clear skies allowing the far off peaks to be visible. Rocky sides and trees color the cliffs close by, while those lying further off are colored by blues that grow lighter with distance. The skies are filled with bright vibrant blues and dotted with white wisps…

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Posted by: DanutM | 17 March 2015

Teach Me, My God and King

Teach Me, My God and King

Being an Anglican that does not an Anglican church where I live, I try to use any opportunity I have to worship in Anglican churches where I travel. The last such opportunity was a few weeks ago in Nicosia, Cyprus (and, by the way, I will have the opportunity to worship there again next Sunday).

During the liturgy, I was somewhat intrigued by one of the (very) British hymns sang (at the end of the service I realised that my colleagues were as intrigued as I was). It was the hymn ‘Teach Me, My God and King’, written by George Herbert, a 17th century composer. What attracted our attention, besides the quite strange tune, were the lyrics, especially the strange alchemist analogy of Christ being the ‘philosopher’s stone’ – the one that, supposedly, turns everything into gold, in the last stanza. Maybe that is why the hymn was called originally ‘The Elixir’.

So, I have decided to share it with you when I get home, which I do now. Listen first to the song, and then you may read a short exegesis of this hymn.

Read More…

Posted by: DanutM | 16 March 2015

The Cross – Jesus in China – Parts 2 and 3

Part 2 – Seeds of Blood & Part 3 – The Bitter Cup

Originally posted on Istorie Evanghelica:

Mărturia domnului Dumitru Lungu despre transportul ilegal de Biblii în România comunistă.
Înregistrarea a fost realizată la Biserica Creștină Baptistă Nădejdea din București în data de 25 ianuarie 2015 cu prilejul lansării în Capitală a romanului Ambasadorul scris de Cătălin Dupu.Tema romanului este tocmai aceasta: transportul ilegal de Biblii în România comunistă, anii 80 ai secolului XX.

Având în vedere că mărturia din ianuarie 2015, cât și cea din toamna anului 2013 cu prilejul serbării a 80 de ani de istorie a Bisericii Creștine Baptiste Nădejdea din București au în vedere rezistența evanghelicilor în comunism și transportul ilegal de Biblii, cunoscut sub numele de colportaj de material religios am considerat util să le pun împreună.

Mai jos aveți mărturia din 2013.

Biserica Baptistă Nădejdea 80 de ani - banner

În mărturia sa, Lungu Dumitru,  membru în Biserica Nădejdea, fost secretar al bisericii și persoana care se ocupă de cateheza noilor veniți, vorbește despre câteva aspecte importante din…

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NOTE: American Baptist correspondent William Yoder continues to manifest in his newsletters a definite pro-Russian and anti-Ukrainian position, concerning the Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine. He should know better.

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M o s c o w – The Mennonite Harley Wagler, a US-American who has spent the last 21 years in Nizhny Novgorod/Russia, describes the difference between Ukrainian and Russian Baptists as a theological one. He writes: “Many Russian evangelicals are now being pilloried by the Ukrainian ones, who say they are ‘stooges’ of Putin. But the difference is theological. The Russians, generally speaking, say the church should honour the government, even if it is imperfect, since the church represents another kingdom. Even in the worst Stalin years, Baptist leaders never directly criticized the government, simply asserting that they followed a higher calling. One should recall the Baptist Alyosha in Solzhenitsyn’s ‘One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich’. That remains the Baptist position.”

“In Ukraine however, many evangelicals have taken the opposite position. They now say they must support the new government, that this is their patriotic duty. Even the president of Ukraine, for several months, was a Baptist lay minister (Oleksandr Turchynov). He has gained notoriety as the ‘bloody pastor’ because of his thundering and militaristic, anti-Russian pronouncements. Which position is closer to the Biblical one?”

This Russian assessment of Turchynov is harsh, and the Russian Baptist Union did briefly stick its head above the trenches and into politics when its statement from 30 May 2014 questioned the theological justification for support of the Maidan revolt. (See our article from 24 July.) Read More…

Posted by: DanutM | 15 March 2015

The Cross – Jesus in China – Parts 1 and 4

Part 1 – The Spring of Life & Part 4 – The Canaan Hymns

Posted by: DanutM | 14 March 2015

Tchetchenie – Une Guerre Sans Traces


Un documentaire de Manon Loizeau, dedie a la memoire d’Anna Politkovskaia et Natalia Estemirova, qui on ete tue par les killers du Kremlin.

Merci a Armand Gosu pour ce ‘link’.

If, after viewing The Canaan Hymns documentary, you have wondered how do Xiao Min’s hymns sound like and what are their lyrics, here is an example, the hymn ”My Most Understanding Friend’, inspired by “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”

My Most Understanding Friend 
Music and lyrics by Xiao Min

Lord, You are my most understanding friend,
Lord, You are my dearest companion.
You are always on my mind, every day,
I long to see Your face.

At every stage of my life,
During each little pause in my life,
Your hand is always holding me,
Keeping me by Your side,

Telling me the path which I should take,
That I might not slide towards death!
How long, how wide, how deep and high is Your love!
From the depths of my heart, I am in awe!

With You, I need nothing else!
My heart is joined to Yours!
I have vowed to follow You and never change my mind!

(Source, HERE)
Posted by: DanutM | 14 March 2015

The Canaan Hymns

This is the amazing story of Xiao Min, a very gifted composer in the house churches in China.

This is part of a four episodes documentary titled ‘The Cross – Jesus in China’.

Posted by: DanutM | 14 March 2015

Sarut mina, Parinte – o confesiune

sarut-mana_parinte

Personal, nu sunt mare fan al obiceiului (de sorginte medievala si monarhica al) sarutatului miinii clericilor, chiar daca inteleg ca gestul se adreseaza cinului clerical, in virtutea clemarii lui speciale, pe linia continuitatii apostolice.

Mitr. Daniel
IPS Mitr. Daniel al Moldovei

In acest sens, as vrea sa impartasesc doua experiente personale, care sunt semnificative pentru mine. Cea dintii, de acom aproape 15 ani, este legata de prima mea intilnire cu cel care era pe atunci IPS Mitropolit Daniel al Moldovei (acum Patriarhul Romaniei), cel care ii povestea citiva ani mai tirziu lui Andrew Louth, aflat in vizita la Iasi, ca sunt ‘un ortodox de rit baptist’ (acum ar zice ‘de rit anglican’) . Deci, la prima intilnire cu dinsul, in semn de respect, si cam jenat, fiindca, asa cum spuneam, nu ma dau in vint dupa acest gest, am incercat sa-i sarut mina, gindindu-ma ca asa este protocolul. El insa a refuzat discret si ne-am imbratisat (in barbi). Evident, am apreciat asta si m-am simtit usurat. Si n-am mai recidivat, nici cu dinsul, nici cu vreun alt ierarh. Si m-am intilnit cu destui intii-statatori de atunci in calatoriile mele profesionale prin lume, ultimul dintre ei fiind PF Ilia II, Patriarhul ortodox al Georgiei. Read More…

Rachel Held Evans
Rachel Held Evans

Those who read this blog from time to time know how much I like what Rachel Held Evans writes. Although I do not necessarily agree with her on everything, and I am sure she does not mind this, her pilgrimage of faith, from  (radical Reformation) Evangelicalism to (magisterial Reformation) Anglicanism is very similar with mine, and we share similar convictions and struggles.

This is also reflected in her latest interview in The Huffington Post, which is very relevant in the context of the recent polemic around Mohler’s frustrated comments about Baptists becoming Anglicans (or Catholics).

Here is the interview.

* * *

Q: You say that the way to stop the exodus of millennials from churches isn’t cosmetic changes like better music, sleeker logos and more relevant programming. Why are these methods ineffective?

A: These aren’t inherently bad strategies, and some churches would be wise to employ them. But many church leaders make the mistake of thinking millennials are shallow consumers who are leaving church because they aren’t being entertained. I think our reasons for leaving church are more complicated, more related to social changes and deep questions of faith than worship style or image.

If you try to woo us back with skinny jeans and coffee shops, it may actually backfire. Millen Read More…

A superb message of true authenticity and Christian love.

The 2015 Templeton Prize Laureate, Jean Vanier, speaks on the Big Question: “What does it mean to be fully human?”

Posted by: DanutM | 13 March 2015

Interviu cu sculptorul Liviu Mocan – de Vlad Mixich

Liviu Mocan - Stilpi impuscati (Cluj)
Liviu Mocan – Stilpi impuscati

Domnul Vlad Mixich, unul dintre putinii jurnalisti pe care-i frecventez regulat, si pe care am avut placerea de a-l intilni acum vreo doi ani la un seminar Aspen, publica pe platforma HotNews, pentru care lucreaza, un interviu cu vechiul meu prieten, sculptorul Liviu Mocan. Iata-l aici in intregime.

* * *

Liviu Mocan s-a nascut in 1955 in Cara, judetul Cluj. A absolvit Academia de Arte Vizuale din Cluj si a fost vreme de doi ani artist rezident al Universitatii Anderson din Mississippi, SUA. De-a lungul timpului a avut mai multe expozitii personale la New York, Chicago, Budapesta, Bucuresti, in Elvetia sau in Germania. Sculpturile sale pot fi vazute in locuri publice din Germania, SUA, Norvegia, Noua Zeelanda si desigur Romania. Este cel mai bine cunoscut in Romania ca fiind autorul “Stalpilor Impuscati” din Piata Revolutiei din Cluj, dar si al “Semintelor” amplasate de-a lungul anului cultural 2007 in centrul Sibiului. Liviu Mocan este detinatorul mai multor premii prestigioase pentru sculptura, numeroase lucrari ale sale fiind achizitionate de colectionari particulari din Marea Britanie, Elvetia, Grecia, Austria, Germania, SUA sau Norvegia.

 

* * *

Liviu Mocan este unul dintre cei mai importanti sculptori romani ai momentului. Lucrarile sale sunt expuse in spatii publice din intreaga lume si sunt achizitionate de colectionari particulari la preturi de zeci de mii de euro. Dar ceea ce il face special pe Liviu nu este talentul sau, ci mai ales crezul sau. In timpul conversatiei sale cu Vlad Mixich, sculptorul Liviu Mocan ne-a dezvaluit o idee pe cat de fascinanta, pe atat de socanta.

Vlad Mixich: In zilele noastre e greu sa alegi formula de adresare potrivita unui dialog cu un artist consacrat. Cum e mai bine: maestre Liviu Mocan, domnule Mocan  sau pur si simplu Liviu?
Liviu Mocan: As vrea sa te rog sa nu ma faci sa ma simt batran si ramolit, asa ca prefer sa-mi spui simplu, Liviu. Intrebarea ta imi aminteste de magarul lui Arghezi, care se simtea bine cand i se spunea maestre. Cand mi se intampla totusi sa fiu salutat in felul acesta, obisnuiesc sa raspund “corect nu se spune maestre, ci mai este”. Read More…

Cindy Keong - Presence
Cindy Keong – Presence

1. Presence is defined by Benner as “…the awakening that calls us into engagement with some aspect of the present moment” (p. 2). Benner’s definition reminds me of the concept of “mindfulness.” I have a habit of wolfing down my lunch in-between clients. Slowing down might help me to see the beauty of the orange that God created.

2. “The sacred and the secular are one single fabric of life” (p.115). How often do I separate my life in church on Sunday from my driving when the person in front of me dawdles far below the speed limit?

3. As an older lady, one of my goals is to strip off my false self. When I arrive in heaven, I want God to know me as He created me. Benner says, “We become the fictions we live we during the first halves of our lives” (p.7). He confirmed the task for my second half of life. Read More…

DanutM:

Here is a new article from Rose Khouri, one of my favourite authors writing on the IMES blog. Here is the conclusion of her article, which is worth reading:
‘It should not be our cultures, our identity, our perceived threats that guide how we understand what is right and wrong and whether our actions are acceptable or not. We should not look at a younger generation turning away from the actions and behaviors of their parents as an indication of decay. Rather we should measure our actions by the tools our faith provides us. Do we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us? Do we love our neighbors as ourselves?
Ultimately, do we seek to do unto others as we would have them do unto us?’

Originally posted on The Institute of Middle East Studies:

by Rose Khouri

As a Lebanese-American with an interest in religious studies who has lived a substantial amount of time in both countries, I am often struck by the similarities and differences between two groups who supposedly practice the same religion. If asked, both American Christians (historically white and Protestant) and Lebanese Christians (majority Maronite Catholic) would likely affirm that one of the most fundamental aspects of their lives – their sense of morality, of right and wrong – is influenced solely by religious faith. Yet on a daily basis here in Lebanon, I observe a significant difference between American and Lebanese perceptions of morality (particularly with regard to the treatment of foreign workers and widespread racism).

I have found, however, a similarity common among both cultures. To a large extent, both the older, white American Protestants of my youth, as well as the Maronite Catholics of Lebanon perceive the…

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Posted by: DanutM | 13 March 2015

Paris is Always a Good Idea

DanutM:

Indeed, it always is.
I miss Paris, and my plans to revisit the city seem not to work yet.

Originally posted on Brittany From Boston:

Walking alongside the Seine with a buttery croissant in hand, the soothing sounds of Francois Hardy playing through my head, and pep in my step because I’m in Paris, one of my favorite cities. Would you have to be crazy to say no to a trip to Paris? I think so, and so did Audrey Hepburn…Paris is always a good idea.

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Strolling through Paris by foot is a treat all its own. My eye is drawn up to the ornate architecture, a reminder that Paris has always been in style and the Parisians know it. The Parisian folk, meanwhile, strut by in their fashionable digs as if the whole city is a runway and every week is fashion week. They are effortlessly chic, a model of envy for the fashion-focused around the world.

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I don’t know how these Parisian men and women stay thin enough to sport their high-fashion…

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two faces

An evangelical pastor saved my life. But not in the way you are probably thinking.

While a sophomore at Amherst College, I was trying to find my way. Without a clear path, I figured that philanthropy would be a nice occupation. But to be a philanthropist, I needed to make money and lots of it. So I set my sights on finance and began working towards a major in economics.

Even as I was pursuing a lucrative (and generous) future, I remained rooted in Judaism. I had been brought up in the Conservative movement and had long been active in my synagogue and, in college, the international Jewish campus organization Hillel. In time, I became co-president of the organization’s Amherst chapter and began taking part in regular meetings with Amherst’s director of religious life, the Rev. Dr. Paul Sorrentino.

Paul was not like most pastors I had met, or for that matter religious leaders of any sort. Although he spoke to me about his own beliefs and process of becoming reborn as a Christian, it was not with the intention of proselytizing. He did not want to preach all the time. Instead he wanted to listen. He heard of my ambitions and also saw my love of Judaism. So he planted a seed in my mind, telling me, “You know, you would make a wonderful rabbi, if that were something you were interested in.” Read More…

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