Skidmore College receives grant for Buddhist professorship


Skidmore College, in Saratoga Springs, NY, has received a gift to establish The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Professorship in Buddhist Studies. The $300,000 grant for the new tenure-track position addresses a priority at the College as it creates a new Religion Department and seeks to strengthen its interdisciplinary Asian Studies Program. The position will be a joint appointment between the two academic units. In granting the award, the Foundation cited its longstanding interest in promoting Buddhist studies and explained that 2016 is the inaugural year in which it is offering New Professorship grants to institutions to establish teaching positions through an open, international competition. Skidmore was selected for an award from a strong pool of candidates by an international panel of distinguished scholars in Buddhist studies.


Guam Senator visits Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) Executive Minister

Senator Rory J. Respicio, the majority leader of Guam’s 33nd legislature, made a courtesy call to Iglesia Ni Cristo Executive Minister Brother Eduardo recently, to present the legislative resolution of Guam that recognized and congratulated the INC on its 102nd anniversary this past July 27. “The Iglesia Ni Cristo is a very resilient Church, and the Church is here to stay,” said the US senator who flew to the Philippines specifically to present to Brother Eduardo Guam’s legislative resolution no. 419-33, which he had introduced and which was supported by 14 other legislators of Guam. “The reason for this visit is to present the legislative resolution which recognizes the 102nd anniversary of the INC, and also to recognize the INC for all its contributions to the island of Guam,” he said in an interview. “I am always indebted to the Filipino people for its continued contributions (to Guam), and I’m here today to recognize the Iglesia Ni Cristo and say that the people of Guam are indebted to the positive act the Church has made to our island,” Senator Respicio explained.


New book claims the Old Testament drew extensively on Plato’s writings

Plato and the Creation of the Hebrew Bible, from academic publisher Routledge Press, proposes a provocative new theory regarding when, where and why the Old Testament was written. According to the author, Russell Gmirkin, the idea for the earliest Bible came out of Plato’s Laws, which proposed a new form of government with divinely inspired laws and a carefully approved ethical national literature.


The nun who kissed Elvis celebrates her golden jubilee

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 16, 2016 – Mother Dolores Hart, O.S.B., who left a promising Hollywood acting career 50 years ago, will celebrate her golden jubilee as a contemplative Benedictine this weekend at the Church of Jesu Fili Mariae in Bethlehem, Connecticut, where a Mass and celebration in her honor will be held. In 1963, Hart was a famous actress, but she stunned Hollywood, when, after ten highly successful feature films, and at the peak of her career, she entered the Abbey of Regina Laudis, not in order to leave the glamorous world of acting she had dreamed of since childhood, but in order to answer a mysterious call she heard with the “ear of the heart.”

Mother Dolores gives a fascinating account of her life and journey in her memoir, THE EAR OF THE HEART: An Actress’ Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows, now in its third printing. Hart was a bright and beautiful college student when she made her film debut at 19 years old as Elvis Presley’s sweetheart in Paramount’s “Loving You” in 1957. Hart became an overnight success story, starring with Elvis again in “King Creole” the following year in 1958.


Africa Matters

Maryknoll, New York – The rapid growth of the Catholic population in African countries has been one of the key factors driving the shift of perspective within the church from Western Europe to what is called the Global South. Veteran Vatican reporter John L. Allen, Jr., has called the African continent “the most dynamic corner of the Christian map.”

Two new books from Orbis illustrate this dynamic growth, focusing on issues of both church and society. The Church We Want (August 2016) is the fruit of a 3-year research project, the Theological Colloquium on Church, Religion, and Society in Africa (TCCRSA). The colloquium brought together 60 distinguished scholars and religious who represented a broad spectrum of cultures and regions. Their goal: to develop, model, and sustain a new process and method of theological reflection and study, at the service of the world church.


The Interfaith Observer (TIO) to re-launch its monthly digital magazine, a unique venue for exploring interreligious relations and interfaith culture

The Interfaith Observer (TIO) ( was created in 2011 by a small group of interfaith activists concerned that the global proliferation of interfaith activities, mostly at the grassroots level, was not getting sufficient attention. Since then dozens of TIO articles have charted interfaith history, profiled major stakeholders and their programs, and illuminated a wide range of religious traditions and spiritual expressions.

Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly – September 16, 2016

Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET. Visit for additional information. Show #2003 will be fed over PBS at 5:00 p.m. EST on September 16, 2016 (check local listings). One Extraordinary Church – It’s the House for all Sinners and Saints in Denver, a widely unconventional congregation led by Evangelical Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber.  She told Lucky Severson her language, teaching and tattoos symbolize her acceptance of everyone, and they of her. Their church is thriving. Spiritual Healthcare – More and more hospitals are now putting added emphasis on the spiritual care of their patients – and it is paying off both figuratively and literally. David Tereshchuk reports from Mt.


The heart of holiness is friendship with …

Do you understand holiness? Does friendship lead to holiness? Reflecting on Scripture, writings of the saints and his own experience, Redemptorist Father Gary Lauenstein demonstrates that the heart of holiness lies in an intimate relationship with God in his new book, THE HEART OF HOLINESS: Friendship With God and Others.

Chairman of U.S. Commission on Civil Rights calls the phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and Christian supremacy

The New American Civil Rights Project noted today that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR)—after a delay of over three years—has released its report on Peaceful Coexistence. The report examines the various legal and constitutional issues that arise when anti-discrimination laws and religious liberty come into conflict.