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Archive for November 24th 2010

John Howard Griffin is known primarily as the author of Black Like Me, a seminal book in the history of the civil rights movement in which a white man dressed up as a black man and wrote about his experiences in the segregated south. But Griffin was also a war hero, a convert to Catholicism, a blind man who miraculously regained his sight and the onetime biographer of Thomas Merton. The documentary filmmaker Morgan Atkinson introduces his documentary of Griffin, "Uncommon Vision," which will air on Kentucky PBS on January 11 and is available for purchase on Atkinson's Web site.

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In a discussion of his book, The American Catholic Revolution, Mark Massa, S.J. introduces the major moments and figures of the 1960s, including Frederick McManus and the liturgical changes introduced by Vatican II, Charlie Curran and and the resistance to Humanae vitae and the political activism of Daniel Berrigan, S.J. Scroll to minute 15 to hear Father Massa discuss the legacy of Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J.

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Deborah M. Jones discusses her book, The School of Compassion: A Roman Catholic Theology of Animals, and her work with the Catholic Concern for Animals. Dr. Jones has sought to build a theology of animals around the catechism's dictate that "animals are God's creatures. By their mere existence, they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness." She reflects on care for animals shown by the Desert Fathers, why she hopes her cause will be embraced by Catholic scholars and what ordinary Catholics can do to show their compassion for all God's creatures.

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Matt Malone, S.J., blogger and former associate editor at America, analyzes the midterm results.

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When he was first summoned to meet with Pope John Paul II, Sir Gilbert Levine was surprised to find himself led to the pope's private library, and felt sure it was it was a once-in-a-lifetime meeting. That first conversation in 1988 gave birth to a 17-year relationship between the two men--an unlikely pairing of a Brooklyn born Jewish conductor and the Polish pope. Levine would conduct numerous papal concerts over the years, including the memorable "Papal Concert to Commemorate the Shoah" in 1994. The two men developed what one of John Paul's aides called a "deep spiritual friendship," which Levin writes about in his new book The Pope's Maestro.

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