Tuesday, July 16, 2013

June 2013 Reading

Fast Times in Palestine: A Love Affair with a Homeless Homeland by Pamela Olson is a first hand narrative account of her experiences in Palestine.

Born and raised in Oklahoma, after she earned a degree in Stanford she faced a time of restlessness - resulting in her travel and experiences to Palestine.  What I read from her account was consistent with many persons I've known who have come to realize that when we talk about Palestine and Palestinians we are talking about very real human persons, in real human families, dealing with the daily matters of life and death - in a framework of life where, due to political issues and boundaries, the "cards are stacked against them."  For persons who need a first hand encounter with the experiences and issues in Israel and with Palestinians - I'll tell them this book is a great one to give them new issues for thoughtful consideration.

Stonehenge - A New Understanding: Solving the Mysteries of the Greatest Stone Age Monument by Mike Parker Pearson.

People have been seeking meaning - trying to discern life and death and seasons and times for aeons.  I love how this book explores not just Stonehenge - but the vast array of other archealogical locations in and around Stonehenge.  The many mounds, sacred() pathways, woodhenge, and Durrington Walls are just a few of the things connected in this exploration of the history of area surrounding Stonehenge - and the people who constructed these sites.

As humans, we are compelled to try to understand meaning in our world.  People have been trying to find meaning for all of human history, so it seems.

Reading from the new Catholic Pope, On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the Twenty-First Century by Jorge Mario Bergoglio & Abraham Skork.

A conversation between a priest (now the Pope) and a Rabbi.  I enjoyed the read, though I will admit, there was nothing "striking" or "revelatory" about the book.  The positions and conversational tone were easy to read.  The positions on issues of theological reflected a thoughtful and compassionate perspective.  I certainly felt like I could "hear" the Pope in the pages of the text, but I also did not feel "moved" or "changed" as a result of the reading as well.

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