The Legacy of Mandela– Non-Violence and Forgiveness as a Means of Change


There are probably only a distinct minority of persons on this globe who have not heard of Nelson Mandela, a man imprisoned for 27 years on Robbens Island for protesting the evils of apartheid. Millions have even seen the movie Invictus or read his biography about the long road to freedom. It was a long road for Mandela himself, and one that led eventually to his being the President of South Africa and a Nobel Peace prize winner. He has been an inspirational figure for millions, and having … [Read more...]

Christmas came early…. a Blessed time in Rome


It's not everyday you get to: 1) play Julius Caesar at the Colisseum; 2) meet the Pope; 3) give a lecture at a Vatican conference; 4) get a private time in the Sistine Chapel, and with your Russian daughter! Christmas did indeed come early.... Praise the Lord. … [Read more...]

My Grown Up Christmas List have discovered I have something in common with Amy Grant--- the same Christmas wish list. BW3 … [Read more...]

He Won’t Give Up on Us :) … [Read more...]

Philomena– The Magdelene Laundries

"The Magdalene Laundries" is a song on the Joni Mitchell 1994 album "Turbulent Indigo". They were the forgotten women of Ireland, kept under lock and key, forced to clean and sew, and to wash away the sins of their previous life while never being paid a penny. Some stayed months, others years. Some never left. They were the inmates of Ireland's notorious 20th century workhouses, the Magdalene Laundries. The laundries — a beneficent-sounding word that helped hide the mistreatment that took p … [Read more...]

Social Description in Early Christianity


Here is an excellent post from Larry Hurtado reminding us that it is wrong to say that early Christianity was largely made up of impoverished slaves, women, minors, and the rural poor. This, is a complete myth. See belowSocial Description in Early Christianityby Larry HurtadoJust occasionally, there have been blog comments reflecting the old assumption that early Christianity was a movement made up simply of "illiterate proletariat". That was a view often touted (even among … [Read more...]

Roma Aeterna– Final Part


Much of southern Italy qualify as being in a semi-tropical climate. Thus plants like the bougainvillea seen above from Pompey can grow all year round without fear of frost. It is not an accident then that the 'beach resorts' of the rich and famous in ancient Roma were also in the southern part of Italia-- in places like Pompey, and Herculaneum (or as it is called today Ercolano). The Italians have a word for ruins--scavi, and thus those who pick over or regularly wander through ruins are … [Read more...]

Rolls vs. Codexes– The Story Continues


Here's a helpful post from Larry larryhurtadoReading a book for review recently on another topic altogether, I came across a casually proffered claim that is frequently asserted/assumed but flatly incorrect: That a major reason early Christians initially turned to the codex as their preferred book-form was that the codex could accommodate a larger body of text than a roll. Wrong on all counts.First, let's be clear about chronology. Sure, by the fourth century CE … [Read more...]

Arrivederci Roma!


What a fantastic week it was in Italy, and lots of good memories created. In this final post, I offer a few parting shots, of a positive sort....Here's a nice spooky shot from within the villa of mysteries at Pompeii.Or here's Yuliya at Trevi Fountain holding her autograph card of Pope Francis... And then a family shot of us there taken by a vendor..And for those who want a wider angle shot of the whole fountain....Or how about a shot of more of Raphael's work in the … [Read more...]