In our book Spiritual Literacy, we recounted a scene from the movie Smoke. Auggie owns a cigar store in Brooklyn and every morning at 8 a.m., he takes a photograph of his special place on Earth from across the street. He has over 4,000 of these pictures collected in albums. One day, he shows the albums to Paul, a regular customer, who pages through them rapidly. He is puzzled by Auggie's pictures and complains that they are all the same.
Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on December 4, 2020
The deluge of events, the velocity of change, and the upheaval of our lives are mirrored in the language we use. Words, as a result, have both cultural and spiritual significance.
Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on June 5, 2020
Dr. Cornel West is an author, social critic, and democratic intellectual. He is Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and holds the title of Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has also taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris. He is well-known for his assertion that "Justice is what love looks like in public."
Posted by Frederic Brussat on May 22, 2020
In his May 7, 2020, opinion column for The New York Times, the visionary David Brooks states that all young adults should have the chance to serve those around them — especially now during the coronavirus pandemic. He describes those just graduating from high school or college, or taking a break from college: "This is a passionate, idealistic generation that sees the emergency, wants to serve those around them and groans to live up to this moment."
Posted by Frederic Brussat on April 21, 2020
I often return in moments of questioning to a quote from Arundhati Roy: "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Roy is an Indian novelist, activist for anti-globalist movements, and a vociferous critic of U.S. capitalism and foreign policy. African-American activist Cornel West has called her "one of the few great intellectual revolutionaries in our time."
Posted by Frederic Brussat on March 2, 2020
Americans are not moving as much as they did in the past. They are staying in the same house for years on end. Henry Grabar reported in an article on Slate that just 11% percent of the U.S. population changed residences in 2017, down from 12% in 2013 and 13% in 2006. Not only are people not moving from state to state, they are not moving from house to house locally.
Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on February 7, 2020
The word of the year for 2019 is "Climate Emergency," according to Oxford Dictionaries. Last year, that honor went to "Toxic."
Climate emergency is defined as "a situation in which urgent action is required to reduce or halt climate change and avoid potentially irreversible environmental damage resulting from it."
Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on October 16, 2019
We were introduced to the wonders and pleasures of slime when we visited the home of Elizabeth and Olivia, a friend's granddaughters. As videos of people shaping slime played on the TV set, they gave us a first-hand (and fingers) experience with it.
Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on February 28, 2019
The civil rights movement stands out as one of the most remarkable and meaningful in American history as African-Americans rallied for social, legal, political, and cultural changes putting an end to segregation and prohibiting discrimination. Although committed white believers marched with their black brothers and sisters, many had no involvement in the movement. And today, many of its successes are under attack.
Posted by Frederic Brussat on January 14, 2019
Tim Wu's excellent opinion piece last fall in The New York Times, "In Praise of Mediocrity," has stuck with me because he talks about why people don't have a hobby — and I am one of those people. (Of course, I do for a living what a lot of people do in their leisure time: go to movies and read books.) Wu is a law professor and the author of The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads.
About This Blog
Spiritual literacy is the ability to read the signs written in the texts of our own experiences. It is recommended and practiced in all the world's religions. Whether viewed as a gift from God or a skill to be cultivated, this facility enables us to discern and decipher a world full of meaning. More