Thursday's News & Ideas

  • The pain of unbelief, and of belief
  • Recruiting new monks (and you thought YOU had a tough time recruiting!)
  • A history of inauguration bibles

News & Ideas, January 15, 2009

Monasteries in drive to recruit more novices. Guardian (London): Religious orders are offering 'taster' weekends to stem a near-terminal decline in numbers.

'I do solemnly swear…' Wall Street Journal: Inaugural Bibles, President by President

Organization launched to inspire, support future preachers. Religion Press Release Services: Lilly Endowment Inc. funds pilot phase for the Academy of Preachers.

My bright abyss. The American Scholar: Poet Christian Wiman never felt the pain of unbelief until he believed. But belief itself is hardly painless.

The Spark

Listening to Schroeder. In the world of “Peanuts,” Schroeder was the Beethoven-obsessed music nerd who lost patience when Lucy interrupted his practice and who called time-outs as a baseball catcher to share composer trivia with the pitcher. Yet, musicologists and art curators have learned that there was much more than a punch line to Charles Schulz’s invocation of Beethoven’s music, the New York Times reports. More than an illustration, the music was a carefully chosen soundtrack to the strip, introducing the characters’ state of emotion, prompting one of them to ask a question or punctuating an interaction.