Rome may be The Eternal City, but Istanbul can make a pretty good case for immortality too. The cities are about the same age and for much of that time the larger, wealthier, and more influential of the two was not the one in Italy.
I've been wandering from Afghanistan to Mali, trying to visit as many living and dead Sufi masters -- and shrines -- as I possibly can. But perhaps no place excited me more than the splendid shrine of John the Baptist in the Umayyad Mosque of Syria.
Interfaith spiritual community Sanctuary NYC will screen Building Babel, which follows a year in the life of Sharif El-Gamal, the developer behind New York's Park51, sometimes referred to by opponents as the "Ground Zero Mosque."
For us longevity focused boomers, a return to a spiritual or worship community could represent an opportunity for renewed connection with others in a shared environment, as well as potential discernment and insight into the importance of belonging.
Some of our neighbors are grateful just to be alive -- not because of natural disasters but because of members of their community. Two incidents of violence, one extreme, were perpetrated at houses of worship in recent days.
What we have brewing in Murfressboro is a classic contest between two competing faiths. While many may find the crosses an affront to Islam, the fact is we may be in for a good ol' American advertising war.
What happened to Michael Salman -- armed police raids of his property, repeated warnings against holding any form of Bible study at his home, and a court-ordered probation banning him from having any gatherings of more than 12 people at his home -- should never have happened in America.
It's time for Christians to regain their heritage, reaffirm their compassion, and fight mightily for freedom and justice for all. That means ceasing opposition to the building of Mosques and condemning attitudes that fuel the flames of Mosque-burnings.
Things like "stealth jihad" and "creeping Sharia" will not come out of these mosques. That's because they do not exist. What does exist is growing Islamophobia and those who are willing to take their animosity to whatever end is necessary in order to discriminate against them.
Yes, many novels have religious content that dominates a book or at least adds a small thread to its tapestry. Some of these novels take a jaundiced view of religion, while others treat it more kindly.