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.