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    The rights of the homeless and the rights of people who fear them or don’t want to be bothered by them have become an issue in the glittery playground that is Las Vegas. Advocates say the homeless are being harassed by police, while city officials respond that too many of the homeless just don’t want to be helped. More

    March 7, 2008 | Comments

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    Mary Gordon is a novelist, essayist, and English professor at Barnard College in New York whose new book is called CIRCLING MY MOTHER. It’s a memoir of Gordon’s late mother and of the Catholic Church in which she was raised. Gordon is an outspoken critic of the church as an institution. At the same time, she remains strongly committed to her Catholic faith. More

    February 29, 2008 | Comments

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    People in Bangladesh are struggling to recover from a devastating cyclone, a not unusual tragedy in that part of the world, and this time global warming threatens to flood much of the country. As the land begins to disappear, climate refugees, as they are called, are learning to farm differently and to live and go to school afloat. More

    February 15, 2008 | Comments

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    Jewish prayer shawls are called tallit. The elaborately braided fringes, the tzitzit, on the four corners of the shawls, represent God’s 613 commandments to the Jews. We discovered a synagogue with a class in which boys and girls preparing for their coming of age ceremonies, bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs, make their own tallit. More

    February 8, 2008 | Comments

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    The Vatican reported this week that the number of Catholics in religious orders around the world continued to decline. But there are a few places where the reverse is true. Betty Rollin found a Dominican teaching order in Nashville fairly bursting with dedicated young nuns. More

    February 8, 2008 | Comments

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    The annual New York Jewish Film Festival showed a selection of films that “ask hard questions about life, culture, identity, and politics,” according to Richard Pena, the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s program director and a member of the festival’s selection committee. More

    January 25, 2008 | Comments

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    Washington Post science writer Rick Weiss discusses the practical and ethical questions raised by recent embryonic stem cell research, including efforts in Britain to clone human embryos using eggs from other species. More

    January 25, 2008 | Comments

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    A series of significant developments have emerged in recent weeks in the field of stem cell science. Each adds exciting prospects for treating disease; each adds vexing complexity. With us to help understand the science and the issues: Rick Weiss, science writer for The Washington Post. More

    January 25, 2008 | Comments

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    The sound they create is inspired: lush, dramatic, intensely personal. But for The 5 Browns, playing Gershwin or anyone else is more than an exercise in making music. It is their keyboard testimonial. More

    January 25, 2008 | Comments

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    Read an excerpt about the close relationship between Martin Luther King Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel from THE WORD OF THE LORD IS UPON ME by Jonathan Rieder (Harvard University Press, April 2008). More

    January 18, 2008 | Comments