A number of press releases re: events in local religious communities have come my way in the past week, so I thought I’d pass them on. Mark your calendars, God Bloggettes!
For folks interested in what one financial columnist called the “best analysis yet of the global economic crisis,” the Catholic Newman Center on UA’s campus is sponsoring two talks this week on Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict’s social encyclical examining modern capitalism from an ethical, spiritual and technical perspective.
The main message is about promoting human development in the context of social justice and the common good, and the only reason I can tell you that is I’ve read descriptions of the piece by journalists, priests and bloggers because when I tried to read it sans any interpretation, I threw up my hands in frustration. (“Plain English, Papa,” I wanted to scream, “Just put it in plain English!”)
Luckily for me and others of small brain, the Newman Center is bringing in Alejandro Crosthwaite, a Dominican friar from the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, to unpack Caritas in Veritate for the common woman and man. The talks are free, open to the public, and start at 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday in the chapel of the Newman Center, which is on the corner of Cherry and Second streets at UA. Map is here.
Next week, also at the Newman Center, for anyone interested in the Israel-Palestine conundrum, Bartholomew Hutcherson, pastor of the Newman Center and also a Dominican friar, will give a talk called “The Geography of Hatred – Palestine in the Common Era.”
Hutcherson said this talk is his “personal reflection” on the two months he spent in study in Israel/Palestine over this past summer. He learned a lot (“Everybody has blood on their hands,” he said) and wants to share it with anyone who is interested. The presentation will be Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. in the main chapel and will focus on the story of disputed lands in the Common Era “with emphasis on the rise of Islam, the Crusader Era, the Ottoman period and the establishment of the modern state of Israel.”
The presentation will examine how conflicts in the current day have their origins in religious and cultural understandings from long ago, asking what history and faith could teach people about the future of the Middle East.
From the Old Testament side of the monotheistic aisle, members of the Southern Arizona Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life are offering their second annual sacred water celebration Monday, Oct. 5, from 7–9 pm, with “a new ritual based on ancient practices,” according to a press release from the Tucson Jewish Community Center.
The water celebration will coincide with Sukkot, is a way-cool Jewish holiday marked by Jews constructing outdoor sukkah in their yards and eating outside in commemoration of the divine protection of Israelites during their 40-year wandering in the desert. Sukkot follows the two-day joyful observance of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and the one-day solemn observance of Yom Kippur (day of atonement), and lasts seven days.
The celebration will be at the TJCC, 3800 E. River Road, and it is free. Those attending should bring a flashlight and wear comfortable shoes. Everyone participating should bring a reusable pitcher or bowl for the water celebration, and if you want to stay for the potluck, bring a vegetarian snack to share and your own reusable place setting and utensils. For more info, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Deborah at 881-2534.