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BY May 13, 2011

A Cobbler Repairs a Pair of Boots in the Old City of JerusalemA cobbler repairs a pair of boots in the Old City of Jerusalem. (photo: Nancy Rosenbaum)

Since we went to Israel and the West Bank, I haven’t been able to read the news from those places in the same way. Before, it generally depressed me. Now I find it painful with a more personal edge.

But on a profounder level than that, I am made crazy by the incompleteness — the narrow lens through which reality in this most intense of human and religious places is filtered. We often only get one side of something that has countless sides, at least more than two. Or we get the tail end of a story that is multi-layered and can’t be told validly without something of its beginning and its middle. And always, in the West, we are focused on what is happening at the tip of the iceberg — the high-level, political arena of negotiations, of votes, of posturing.

BY April 11, 2011

Police Officers Carry the Coffin of Constable Ronan Kerr
Police officers carry the coffin containing the remains of Constable Ronan Kerr to the church of the Immaculate Conception in Beragh, Northern Ireland on April 6, 2011. The First Minister of the British-controlled province, the Protestant Peter Robinson, broke with decades of tradition to attend his first ever Catholic mass as Constable Kerr was laid to rest. (photo: Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty Images)

While working with Holy Family Parish in North Belfast over the last few weeks, I have encountered much wisdom. One woman, Ann, quoted one of her university professors who said, “Any ideology carried to its logical conclusion is a dangerous thing.”

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BY February 12, 2011

Now that Pharaoh has been removed, Rose Aslan writes, the long process of cleaning up corruption and education begins — and, by the signs of it, Egypt's future couldn't look brighter.

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BY October 07, 2010

Eddie Long's "anti-homosexual" theology, power, and news coverage. One inside view of the black church.

BY July 28, 2010

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks at Press Conference on Afghanistan War Diary LeaksJulian Assange of WikiLeaks holds a copy of The Guardian newspaper that features a report using the site’s leaked documents on the Afghanistan war. (photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

BY May 05, 2009

As I read this report by Sabrina Tavernies in The New York Times this weekend, I found myself wondering how Douglas Johnston might read this. What am I missing? What is the reporter not telling me about madrasas that leads to a greater understanding on my, the reader’s, part? What are the routines and teaching taking place in the madrasas. How do those teachings differ from Islamic school to Islamic school? If the Qur’an is the sole text, how is it used: purely for theological training? as a foundational text for reading and writing? as a tool for propaganda? as a source of philosophical discourse?

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BY November 10, 2008

A retired butler at the White House misses the chance to tell his Helene about the first black man bound for the Oval Office.

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