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Karen Sue Smith, former editorial director of America, introduces listeners to a few notable art exhibits in New York that illuminate crucial turning points in history. They include  "Anders Zorn: Sweden's Master Painter" at the National Academy, "Italian Futurism, 1909-1944, Reconstructing the Universe" at the Guggenheim and  "Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937" at the Neue Gallery.

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"America is a Catholic ministry, and both of those words—Catholic and ministry—are carefully chosen," writes editor Matt Malone, S.J., in his recent letter to readers. "Our Jesuit charism guides all of our work. Each time you read America–whether in print or online–you engage with a smart Catholic take on faith and culture, a unique forum for thinking Catholics and those who need to know what Catholics are thinking." Here Dan Pawlus, VP for advancement, talks more about America's ministry and how our readers and listeners can play an important role in our growing community.   

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This week’s podcast was recorded at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress in California. We spoke with Sr. Dianne Bergant, who is a Sister of St. Agnes, and the Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She has also served as the President of the Catholic Biblical Association of America and has been an active member of the Chicago Catholic-Jewish Scholars Dialogue for the past 30 years. America readers may recognize her as a former columnist for The Word, which she authored from 2002-2005. At LA Congress, Sr. Dianne spoke about just war theory and the natural world. She argues that while the traditional understanding of “just war” addresses the effect of war on human beings and property, it does not adequately take into account the destruction done to the environment. She spoke with us about the legitimacy of this tradition today.

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Clementine Bordeaux is an academic coordinator and lecturer in American Indian Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. An enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Clementine grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, attended the Jesuit-sponsored Red Cloud Indian School, and later worked as youth ministry coordinator in Pine Ridge. In this podcast, Clementine describes her integration of Catholic and Lakota spirituality, her experience of attending the canonization of St. Kateri Tekawitha, and some of the challenges of Native students today.

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Rhona Tarrant, a freelance broadcaster for Ireland's RTE, talks about the tradition of airing the Angelus on Irish television and how it has changed.

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James Martin, S.J., talks about Jesus: A Pilgrimage, a new book that takes readers on a journey with the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith. Father Martin is an editor at large at America and the author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything and Between Heaven and Mirth, among other books.

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Matthew McGarry is the Country Representative for Catholic Relief Services in Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza, a position he had held since July 2012. He is responsible for overseeing approximately 60 staff members in four offices, as well as a range of programming including Humanitarian Assistance, Civil Society, Peacebuilding, Advocacy, and Youth Development—all aimed at serving vulnerable Palestinians. McGarry also has worked with CRS programs in Zimbabwe, Sudan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. 

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Charles Camosy talks about his book For Love of Animals: Christian Ethics, Consistent Action, which examines the Christian's responsibility to "non-human animals" and the ethics of eating meat. Camosy talks what the Christian tradition says about the treatment of animals and the ways in which industrial practices place barriers between consumers and the food on our table. 

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Is Martin Scorsese's "Wolf of Wall Street" a meditation on evil or a celebration of excess? Should he have made "American Hustle" instead? Is "Philomena" anti-Catholic or an eloquent argument for forgiveness? What would Pope Francis say about Spike Jonez's "Her"? Listen to Bill McGarvey, Tim Reidy and James Martin, S.J., discuss the nominees for Best Picture on America's 2014 Oscar podcast. 

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James M. Shaughnessy, S.J., talks about his work as a chaplain aboard cruise ships and the spiritual needs of the passengers he encounters. Father Shaughnessy has worked in pastoral care at Tufts Medical Center in Boston for 27 years. Read his article from America's 2014 Travel & Pilgrimage issue, "Anchored in Faith."

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