The Golden Compass as Christmas Movie?

Some worry ‘Compass’ points kids in the wrong direction RNS’ Heather Donckels examines the controversy over the upcoming holiday film The Golden Compass, which is based on books by an avowed atheist, in this week’s full-text article, linked above. Quote: Kiera McCaffery, a spokeswoman for the New York-based Catholic League, says the film is a […]

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2007 Religion News Service Slim plurality of Anglicans say Episcopalians met demands (RNS) A slim plurality of national churches in the Anglican Communion has given the Episcopal Church passing marks for pledging in September to stop ordaining gay bishops and authorizing rites for same-sex unions. Ten of the 38 Anglican provinces, however, say they […]

10 minutes with … Brad Warner

c. 2007 Religion News Service (UNDATED) There aren’t many Zen priests like Brad Warner. Before turning to Buddhism 25 years ago, the 43-year-old Californian hit the hardcore punk scene in Ohio as bassist for the Akron-based band Zero Defects. Now a writer as well as a Buddhist priest, Warner, 43, combines his love of punk […]

COMMENTARY: Reasonable faith, unreasonable fear

c. 2007 Religion News Service (UNDATED) In Sean Penn’s recent movie “Into the Wild,” there is a touching scene between an elderly man, played by Hal Holbrook, and a young wanderer, portrayed by newcomer Emile Hirsch. The elderly man, who is depicted as a devout Catholic, teaches the young man, who is on a quest […]

We Three Kings of Orient Are … mostly unknown

c. 2007 Religion News Service (UNDATED) They came. They saw. They gifted. That’s about all we know of the foreign visitors who traveled to Bethlehem to see the infant Jesus. The scene ingrained in the public imagination _ a stately procession of three kings in turbans, crowns, elaborate capes and fancy slippers, with an entourage […]

2007 was a quiet harbinger of significant things to come

c. 2007 Religion News Service (UNDATED) History books are full of dates that mark seminal events: 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door and launched the Protestant Reformation; or 1973, when the Supreme Court legalized abortion. Those boldface dates are preceded by less prominent but nonetheless decisive times: 1516, when […]

British Catholics to Blair: Don’t go changin’

According to a forthcoming cover story (not yet online) in The Spectator of London, not all British Catholics are happy about former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s expected conversion to the Church of Rome, given his record on such issues as abortion, embryonic stem-cell research and civil unions. “Having Blair as a Catholic is like having […]

“Golden Compass” Author Touted by Humanists

In the midst of the controversy about “The Golden Compass,” a new movie that’s been criticized for its adaptation from an atheist’s novel, the American Humanist Association has weighed in with its support for author Philip Pullman. The Washington-based group has announced it will honor Pullman with its International Humanist Award next June. “Philip Pullman […]

The Ayatollah and the Pope

Time‘s Jeff Israely reports that the Vatican may soon act as a key mediator in negotiations between Tehran and Washington over Iran’s nuclear program. Consider the irony of Pope Benedict-supposedly notorious in the Islamic world since his September 2006 speech in Regensburg, Germany-acting as peacemaker between a Muslim power and the West. While the Time […]

The Gospel According to Philip Seymour Hoffman

Our pal Jim Martin is excerpting parts of his book, “A Jesuit Off-Broadway,” over at BustedHalo. Today he’s talking about his experience working with Philip Seymour Hoffman on the set of “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot,” where Jim served as a theological consultant. “When I asked Phil Hoffman about his directing style on “The […]