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Tuesday, December 24, 2013



Should Christmas be an exclusive Christian event?
This Muslims' answer is no. We cannot limit Jesus to be exclusively owned by any group of people, nor can anyone monopolize his message. Jesus and his message belong to the whole of humanity.

continue reading : Festivals of the World: the Essence of Christmas

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Native American Christmas + Religious and Cultural news headlines of the day

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Faith-based food issues in the news headlines

Here is some information about many faiths, and includes Buddhist, Jain, Hindu (Vegetarian), Muslim (Halal), Jewish (Kosher), food (meals, diet, snacks) etc.

Meals for followers of certain religions (info courtesy:

Lenten meals
including vegetables, fruits, nuts, porridges, mushrooms, excluding meat, fish and dairy products
Islamic meals
without pork, gelatin and alcohol
Hindu meals
without beef, veal and pork, prepared very spicy
Kosher meals meals
prepared according to strict Jewish rules

Vegetarian meals

Vegetarian meals
purely vegetarian meals, excluding meat, fish, milk and eggs
Asia/Vegetarian meals
excluding meat and fish, limited use of dairy products

General news (included Vegetarian):

Muslim (Halal) 

Kosher (Jewish)

On the same shelf:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pope Francis is Time's Person of the Year + Religious and Cultural news headlines of the day

Supreme Court upholds law criminalising gay sex, setting aside lower court decision legalising homosexuality.Extract
Gay activists reacted with dismay and anger at the apex court verdict. Anand Grover, the counsel for Naz Foundation which was the original petitioner in the high court, was quoted as saying they were disappointed with the verdict. Stating it was not correct in law, he said they would appeal for a review of the judgment. 
Popular historian Ramachandra Guha tweeted that the verdict was a step backward towards "barbarism and medievalism".
On the same shelf:

Friday, December 06, 2013

Nelson Mandela tributes, Plus News of the Week

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Religious Tolerance in World Religions

Religious Tolerance in World Religions  by Jacob Neusner and  Bruce Chilton -- West Conshohocken, Pa. : Templeton Foundation Press, 2008. ISBN: 9781599471365

Book Description

Today, and historically, religions often seem to be intolerant, narrow-minded, and zealous. But the record is not so one-sided. In Religious Tolerance in World Religions, numerous scholars offer perspectives on the "what" and "why" traditions of tolerance in world religions, beginning with the pre-Christian West, Greco-Roman paganism, and ancient Israelite Monotheism and moving into modern religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. By tolerance the authors mean "the capacity to live with religious difference, and by toleration, the theory that permits a majority religion to accommodate the presence of a minority religion."
The volume is introduced with a summary of a recent survey that sought to identify the capacity of religions to tolerate one another in theory and in practice. Eleven religious communities in seven nations were polled on questions that ranged from equality of religious practitioners to consequences of disobedience. The essays frame the provocative analysis of how a religious system in its political statement produces categories of tolerance that can be explained in that system’s logical context. Past and present beliefs, practices, and definitions of social order are examined in terms of how they support tolerance for other religious groups as a matter of public policy.
Religious Tolerance in World Religions focuses attention on the attitude "that the ’infidel’ or non-believer may be accorded an honorable position within the social order defined by Islam or Christianity or Judaism or Buddhism or Hinduism, and so on." It is a timely reference for colleges and universities and for makers of public policy.

Book reviews are in:

  • Motley, Sarah. "Religious Tolerance In World Religions By Jacob Neusner & Bruce Chilton (Eds)." Ecumenical Review 61.4 (2009): 434-436.
  • Erlewine, R. (2011), Religious Tolerance in World Religions – Edited by Jacob Neusner and Bruce Chilton. Religious Studies Review, 37: 10
  • Motley, Sarah. "Jacob Neusner & Bruce Chilton (eds), Religious Tolerance in World Religions." The Ecumenical Review 61.4 (2009): 434+.

On the same shelf:

Steps in Dealing With Grief, United Church of God

   Steps in Dealing With Grief   : We all have to cope with the loss caused by death. How can we deal with our grief and help others who are grieving?                                                 
  • Stages of grief: denial
  • Stages of grief: anger
  • Stages of grief: bargaining
  • Stages of grief: depression
  • Stages of grief: acceptance
This, too, shall pass away

Time is a great healer. This is especially true in the case of the loss of a loved one.

In a speech before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society in 1859, Abraham Lincoln commented: “It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate at all times and situations. They presented him with the words, ‘And this, too, shall pass away.’ How much it expresses. How chastening in the hour of pride. How consoling in the depths of affliction.” [speech also quoted in Lincoln on America's Future]
Continue reading  Steps in Dealing With Grief
On the same shelf:

Tuesday, December 03, 2013


"THE LIBRARY AS SANCTUARY: NPR film critic Bob Mondello takes a look at the role libraries have played in popular culture in this report for All Things Considered. “In songs and books and movies and art,” Mondello remarks, “libraries are sanctuaries, places of bustling quiet, storehouses of ideas that fuel the imagination.” Any library essay that includes quotes from August Wilson, Germaine Greer, and Keith Richards (yes, that Keith Richards) is worth listening to!" source: Libraries' Leading Roles: On Stage, On Screen And In Song, by BOB MONDELLO

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving, Plus : Review of the Week

  • Smackdown!: Thanksgiving show stuffed with Tag Team action, CANOE
  • Black Friday: Why Canada should not copy the U.S. MetroNews Canada
  • NFL Picks: The Detroit Lions deserve a happy Thanksgivin, National Post
  • Here's your definitive Thanksgiving weekend marathon guide, Entertainment Weekly
  • Dozens of US retailers opened on Thanksgiving through Black Friday CTV News
  • A Thanksgiving that forgets nobody, Sentinel and Enterprise
  • Buddhism and Sikhism - a Thanksgiving Day Reflection by Prof. Amritjit Singh:
  • This is part of what I wrote this morning to a friend – some of it may interest you.  Happy Thanksgiving,  Amrit 

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and to so many of God's creatures (humans not excluded) that you share your love with.  [Take my reference to God with a grain of salt. I am an agnostic by choice – I don't say "agnostic by faith or conviction" becos that would be a contradiction.] 

    BTW, I am one of those agnostics, those Lefties if you like, who as a non-believer, recognizes that billions of humans around the world get their moral sustenance from their distinct faiths and that when the Marxists dismiss all religions as specimens of false consciousness and refuse to engage with faith communities, they make a big mistake.  The Lefties also allow the fanatics within each faith tradition to go unchallenged.  All of us then face the consequences.  

    Am reading an interesting book on Buddhism – Pankaj Mishra's An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World.  He argues that Buddhism nudges us in the direction of meditation and mindfulness in order to resolve our individual personal struggles with human suffering (indeed the focus of Buddha's thought and meditations) and has little to say on issues of social justice in larger circles of society and politics.  I have been thinking at the same time of Sikhism, the faith in which I nominally grew up – my Dad was also a skeptic of sorts although not an agnostic.  Sikhism, in contrast, is a project in social engineering – an unending struggle for social justice and for First Amendment rights in their largest connotations.  Meditation at the personal, individual level is not forgotten in Sikhism – but living fully and actively with an awareness of issues that affect family and community is at the heart of the Sikh way of life.  And in some of those ways, I am a Sikh all right.  

    That is the burden of my song on Thanksgiving Day (also Hanukah today! - a rare coincidence).  Sorry to insist on making you my captive audience for a few minutes!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Judge invokes Bible, Quran on ‘sacred’ life

TNN | Nov 26, 2013, 07.25 AM ISTIn his 204-page order, the judge leaned heavily on holy books and edicts to disapprove of the parents' actions. "They have extirpated their own daughterwho had hardly seen 14 summers of her life and the servant... in the breach of the commandment 'thou shall not kill' and injunction of Holy Quran'take not life which God has made sacred'," he observed. 
... "Dharmo rakshati rakshitaha (If we protect dharma, dharma will protect us). If we protect the law, the law will protect us. Both the accused have flouted the penal law of the land and therefore are liable to be convicted for murder, destruction of evidence and having common intention to commit the crime," the judge added.  Continue reading

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Faithwise/Culturewise Review of the Week

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