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Food for Life

Food for Life draws on L. Shannon Jung’s gifts as theologian, ethicist, pastor, and eater extraordinaire. In this deeply thoughtful but very lively book, he encourages us to see our humdrum habits of eating and drinking as a spiritual practice that can renew and transform us and our world. In a fascinating sequence that takes us from the personal to the global, Jung establishes the religious meaning of eating and shows how it dictates a healthy order of eating. He exposes Christians’ complicity in the face of widespread eating disorders we experience personally, culturally, and globally, and he argues that these disorders can be reversed through faith, Christian practices, attention to habitual activities like cooking and gardening, the church’s ministry, and transforming our cultural policies about food.

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Kabbalah of Food

“The Kabbalah of Food” unearths Jewish wisdom on the art of receiving health and sustenance through conscious eating. Rabbi Bonder teaches about creating a healthy exchange between ourselves and our environment. The rabbi draws on parables and teachings of the Talmudic sages and Hasidic masters and examines a well-known authoritative text of Jewish Law, the “Shulhan Aruch”, for its practical insights.

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Beasts of the Southern Wild:

Film Review By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

Six-year-old Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis) resides with her charismatic and often crazy father Wink (Dwight Henry) in a rural backwoods patch of land in Louisiana called “the Bathtub”; this low land is separated from the rest of the Louisiana bayou by a huge levee. They live in outrageous poverty: each has a shack on stilts filled with memorabilia and junk accumulated over the years. Wink, an ardent believer in his right to live the way he wants, is convinced that they reside in “the prettiest place on Earth.” When push comes to shove, there’s no way that anybody’s ever going to force him to relocate.

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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Film Review By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

Dr. Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor) is a fisheries scientist working for the British government who is more interested in his research than anything else. His wife Mary (Rachael Stirling) has lost interest in their love relationship as she demonstrates by her post-sex comment, “That should do you for a while.” An ambitious financier, she has scheduled a six-week working stint in Geneva.

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Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation

This book is a call to action for a new era of spirituality-infused activism. Authors Adam Bucko and Matthew Fox encourage us to use our talents in service of compassion and justice and to move beyond our broken systems–economic, political, educational, and religious–discovering a spirituality that not only helps us to get along, but also encourages us to reevaluate our traditions, transforming them and in the process building a more sacred and just world.

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Kneeling with Giants: Learning to Pray with History’s Best Teachers

Book Review By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

Gary Neal Hansen is assistant professor of church history and theology division at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. He is also an ordained Presbyterian minister with the Presbyterian Church USA.

Hansen commends the creativity of the Great Artist in giving human beings so many ways to pray. With energy and precision he has selected ten master teachers of prayer down through the centuries and matched each of them with a specific prayer method. The book is divided into four sections.

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Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Film Review By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

In pursuit of his art and his love of freedom, artist and activist AI Weiwei has been a pain in the neck for Chinese authorities. When they have shut one door, he opens another like the clever and indomitable cat in the opening of this astonishing documentary directed by Alison Klayman. Winner of a Special Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, it also was featured as the opening night selection for the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in 2012.

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Love Free or Die

Film Review

Gene Robinson was elected bishop in the rural Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire. As Christendom’s first openly gay bishop he received a lot of publicity as “the most controversial Christian in the world.” Robinson’s faith and courage have been tested every step of the way; he’s had to endure death threats and the hatred of Bible-waving fundamentalists who see him as the spawn of hell.In this edifying and enlightening documentary, winner of a Special Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, director Macky Alston provides an up-close and personal look at Robinson and an overview of the struggles and challenges he has faced in his pioneering ministry of hospitality, reconciliation, and understanding.Robinson has not had an easy time of it.

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As My Own Soul: The Blessing of Same-Gender Marriage

Ever wonder why marriage for same-gender couples generates such passion? Why is it so important to gay people? And why is it felt as an attack on “traditional” marriage by others? Writing accessibly for the general reader, author Chris Glaser narrows it down—first to taboos around sexuality, then to taboos around the sacred.

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