Guide Keeping the Faith: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives (Religion & American Culture)

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What average viewer, seeing that, would think Christianity has anything to offer? The guy who played Jesus looks worse off by a mile than the guy who plays Thor. This sort of connects with my eternal complaint that Christian movies are lame. Something like a story about Maximilian Kolbe, for instance? Caviezel portrayed Christ beautifully, with strength of character, presence, and a deep commitment to the suffering of Jesus. His faith, though, is very real — and inspiring to many.

I was not as big a fan of The Passion as many; but even granting your point, it was 14 years ago. While he may inspire many, my point is that those outside of Christianity might well see him as far more dour than any other actor out there, and he might cause a sort of reverse- evangelization as a result…. If you think Mr. Well, my review of the movie is based on having seen the movie.

I stand by my description, especially since I think authentic joy is best demonstrated in emotional ecstasy, but in firm and vibrant faith, which is what the film depicts quite well. McNaspy, who gives account of a true historical event, a Spanish Jesuit mission among the Guarani Indians in S America destroyed by slave trading Portugal permitted in a political compromise made by a Catholic prelate.

Maybe he is more compelling when he speaks to youth groups and on Christian television than a regular interview.


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I find his faith contageous. Two American Franciscan friars who were studying graduate-level spirituality in Rome wanted to go to a restaurant for dinner. An Italian friar wanted to tag along and asked to accompany them.

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Re-watching it just now, with your view in mind, I can see how he could come across as more appealing. Had it not been for the reviews, I might have bitten the bullet and gone, as I sometimes go, hoping against hope that this time the Christians pulled it off. I had and have no interest in the latter two. The Paul movie, however, was interesting to me because of those involved and the approach. Peter: Thank you for the recommendations. But again, both those are from many years ago; a good Christian movie every few decades is still a distressing record, to me.

Why does non-Christian — even anti-Christian — Hollywood consistently churn out good or great movies, while we, who have the fullness of Truth in the Person of Christ, consistently stumble? Julie: thank you, I will look into that. As I said in my first post, what average viewer, seeing that a Christian actor appears far less joyful than all the non-Christians, will think Christianity has anything to offer?

But as someone who wishes the Church would better harness the awesome power of cinema to help bring people to Christ, I am tortured by our failure to get the message out. They know they will have limited budgets, limited resources, limited release. Could you imagine Ridley Scott or any of these guys having a conversion experience and wanting to make a Catholic film? How could Hollywood say no to someone so respected? The vast majority of Catholics separate their faith from their every day life. It granted 30, acres of Federal land for each congressman to "loyal" states in order to endow at least one agricultural college.

Under its terms, 69 land grant colleges have been established many in the South after the Civil War ended, including Auburn. Augmented by the Hatch Act, which funded experiment stations to conduct original research, and the Smith—Lever Act that created the agricultural extension service, the Morrill Act entirely changed the thrust of higher education in America. Henceforth, it would be partly directed toward the common man and woman, welcoming them as students, maintaining reasonable costs to assure accessibility, and taking learning off campus to non-traditional groups such as farmers and their families.

Using Alabama's first radio station, WAPI, Petrie taught a current events course over the airwaves that brought audiences throughout central Alabama historical insights about the new and dangerous world emerging after the First World War. I had the good fortune to arrive at Auburn in the late s, just as a group of remarkable faculty in the humanities—Dean of Arts and Sciences, Edward H.


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  • Hobbs; John Kuykendall, head of the Religion Department, and his wife, Missy, who worked in continuing education; journalism professor Jerry Brown; English Department chair, Bert Hitchcock—charted a course to enlarge the agricultural extension idea. Our vision was to organize and export weekend programs to small towns and cities across Alabama, to educate audiences about the religious, historical, and literary traditions of their communities, to find humanistic ways of bringing races together to accomplish common goals and celebrate common pasts, to help young people value the places where they grew up and not to leave at first opportunity.

    Are religious people really less smart, on average, than atheists?

    It was clearly an idea whose time had come. Under the wonderful administrative leadership of Leah Rawls Atkins and Jay Lamar of the Auburn Humanities Center later renamed the Draughon Center , history and culture festivals, Read Alabama literary programs, and other outreach efforts flourished.


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    • In some almost mystical way, I felt by the time I retired, that Auburn had come full circle. Born a Methodist liberal arts college after the Medieval English model, the university had become a beloved land grant university because it became something better. Their mission, grounded in 25 years of research into how people experience trauma, is to make effective therapy available to the huge numbers of victims in the developing world who would otherwise receive no help.

      While some people understandably crumble after extraordinarily harrowing events, others, like Eugenie have an extraordinary capacity to rebound and survive. The psychologists had arranged for me to meet some of their clients in Istanbul.

      Eugenie is the first to turn up. She is composed and self-assured, and remarkably forthright about her demons. Yet after a while it becomes apparent that she has come not so much to describe her downfall as her survival.

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      She says her fears no longer control her. She is functioning pretty well. She seems proud, and also grateful. Now I feel like telling it. You might think, given what happened to her, that a recovery of this scale would take months of intensive therapy. Yet Salcioglu says she has seen Eugenie for just eight sessions, and that she began to get better after four.

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      BBC - Future - The secrets of extraordinary survivors

      Many of their clients have reported a similar rate of improvement. Their successes challenge many of our common notions about the resilience of the human mind. Understanding why could lead us to help many more recover and grow after their experiences. View image of Credit: Getty Images. Tales of extreme resilience are very rare in the media; after every tragedy, we are more often reminded of the permanent scars an event can leave on the mind.

      Their lives can revolve around their symptoms, which include nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, disrupted moods or cognition, hypervigilance and irritability. Usually they harbour irrational fears that cause them to avoid situations that remind them of what happened. Traumatised survivors of war crimes, and victims of torture and rape — such as Eugenie — typically fear sleeping in the dark.

      Keeping the Faith: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives

      They have difficulty watching anything violent on TV. If they are women they are usually afraid of men and may choose to miss their bus or train if it carries a preponderance of men. Left untreated, those symptoms can persist for years. In , Greek psychiatrists discovered that survivors of the earthquake on the island of Cephalonia, which killed and left many homeless, were still experiencing flashbacks and nightmares, more than half a century later.

      This rather undermines the received wisdom that everyone in the vicinity of a disaster needs help. Such extreme differences in the way people cope are striking, and puzzling. What makes some people more resilient, so they require less help and can pull through quicker than others? View image of Credit: iStock. Some clues come from the High Valley Resilience Study at Harvard Medical School, which followed a group of young people who had been hospitalised in their early teens due to severe psychosis.

      Following patients from the late 70s to the early 90s, it found that a minority surprised everyone by going on to lead normal lives in adulthood. These survivors did not appear to possess any remarkable innate attributes. Instead, what set them apart was the way they framed the story of their illness and how they integrated it into their personal narratives. This suggests that resilience and recovery do not require extraordinary resources or an innate toughness, but rather a willingness to adapt to circumstances. Masten, who studies at the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota , points to several key factors , such as connecting with a wider community, sharing your experience with others and developing a sense of meaning in life.

      Re-framing your life after a deep upset — getting your story right — can require considerable energy and imagination. In theory, these resources are open to anyone. All traumatised people have lost something. Usually the thing they have lost is the safe, predictable world that they knew; it can touch a person at the deepest existential level. The challenges of drawing on your natural resilience are evident in the city of Van in the far east of Turkey, which I visited after my conversation with Eugenie.

      It is located in the East Anatolian highlands, a thinly populated, tectonically lively massif of snowy peaks, weathered foothills and scrubby plateaus. Today, the city is best known for an earthquake that killed more than of its residents and left tens of thousands temporarily homeless. The earthquake struck at local time on 23 October It lasted 25 seconds and caused the partial or total collapse of thousands of houses and office buildings in Van and surrounding villages. Hundreds of aftershocks followed, then two weeks later came a second large earthquake, which killed 40 more.

      By mid-November the city was unrecognisable. As in Nepal recently, most of the surviving population were living in tents in the open since the houses were too dangerous to enter. By early , most people had moved to 29, steel mobile container units organised by the Turkish government. The government was quick to coordinate food, water, health and other services, to meet basic needs. But it was not equipped to meet psychological needs. So a group of psychologists and counsellors from Yuzuncu Yil University in Van and the Mother Child Education Foundation Acev in Istanbul set up a counselling centre in one of the containers.

      Over the months that followed they treated hundreds of people, including children who had developed problems such as bed-wetting, aggression, obsessive-compulsive habits, sleeplessness, nightmares and a persistent fear of being separated from their parents.