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Importing Nuns to Save American Monasteries

PHILADELPHIA – The monastery’s gray stone mother house stands stoically amid lonesome pine trees and statues of saints. At one time, the Sisters of St. Basil the Great on Fox Chase Road numbered about 150. Today most sisters have quietly retired from

The Politics of the Habit

Faint voices floated from behind the faded drapes that separated the nuns’ portion of the parlor from their visitors’. On my side, an armchair was stationed in front of the curtains, like a theater set for an audience of one. I could only wonder what was waiting on the other side.

Risking the Pope’s Wrath

Pope John Paul II, who recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of his papacy, has issued strong denunciations of women who have tried to widen their role in the Catholic Church. Just a week before the liberal Loretto Sisters met, he called for “just punishment,” including excommunication, for those who support ordination of women.

The Masada Complex

(JERUSALEM) — Readers have been exposed to a great many words lately about the Islamic resurgence, some of them coming from this very typewriter. A rebirth of Koranic zeal helps explain to Westerners the recurring episodes of what looks to us like bizarre

End or Begin?

CAIRO – Hassan AI-Tuhami is one of those men who, at first sight, conveys to you a special presence, and even something more. I had asked for an interview because he is known as Anwar Sadat’s eminence grise, and apart from Sadat himself

Shofar Blowing

Israel: Revisionism Resurgent

(JERUSALEM) – It came so suddenly, this surge of power from the Revisionists, and no one expected it at all. Menachem Begin, their political leader for so many years, was an authentic hero of the war of independence. Vladimir Jabotinsky was Begin’s intellectual

Islam

Islam As Raison D’Etat

What is this religious fervor that is gripping the Islamic world? Institutional Islam has toppled a government in Iran, threatens a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, executed a former prime minister in Pakistan. Interpreters say that the huge influx of wealth from

David NewelI-Smith /Camera Press/Photo Trends

Impossible Dreams

(JERUSALEM) – The “melting pot” is an American concept, without bearing in the Holy Land. In the Old City of Jerusalem, where the great religions exalt their symbols of spirituality, Moslems, Christians and Jews rub shoulders in crowded streets, and barely stop to

Muammar Gaddafi

Defining Islamic Terms

This article was written before the seizure of the United States Embassy in Teheran by student followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini.

Some time ago, writers adopted the convenient habit of categorizi

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Canadian Wetlands Produce Fuel for U.S.

Like a great silver snake, the Athabasca River glides though a spongy-wet wilderness of spindly forests, lakes and marshes 650 miles north of the U.S.-Canada border. Breathe deeply, though, and you catch a whiff of fresh, hot tar. In the river, fish are

Investigative Report: Promises and Poverty

Starbucks calls its coffee worker-friendly,but in Ethiopia, a day’s pay is a dollar Text and photos by (APF Fellow) Tom Knudson – Bee Staff Writer APF fellow Tom Knudson’s article on Starbucks was published jointly by the Sacramento Bee and the Alicia Patterson

“Gone Time” Lives Anew in Alabama

MARION, Alabama – Reese Billingsley, insurance salesman and member of the county’s tiny black middle class, eased his Model-T Ford off the dirt road into the cotton field, and blew the horn. “You see, she told me not to come up to the

Revisiting The Appalachian Coalfield

What began in 1968 as a ten-day trip became fourteen years of visiting and photographing in coal mines,miners’ homes, and communities in the hills and “hollers” of West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, southwestern Virginia, and western Pennsylvania. I was attracted by a rich cultural

America’s Young Detainees

Three boys stumble out of the back of a border patrol van. Their sweatshirts, jeans, and boots are filthy, and their lips are flaky. One boy has red cheeks, chapped by the cold desert wind. The boys each clutch a small bag. They

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A Citizen On Paper Has No Weight

Last week, I registered to vote. Yaser Esam Hamdi made me do it. Yes, the alleged Taliban fighter — who has been lingering in solitary confinement in a Norfolk naval brig for the past nine months — prompted me to take one more

The Blackfeet’s Lost Acres

A dozen Blackfeet Indians and one white man sit in an aspen grove up against the backbone of the world watching a horse die. This is a land of spirits and portents. Things that happen here take on a heightened significance. The slow,

The Challenges and Growth of Progressive Muslims

Astaghfirullah is an Arabic expression known to Muslims the world over, no matter what language they speak. Roughly translated, it means “I ask forgiveness from God.” Muslim parents employ it regularly to express exasperation with kids who sneak out on dates or go

Good Germs Gone Bad

To work in Abigail Salyers’ laboratory at the University of Illinois, is to play matchmaker to some unlikely couples. Standing at her laboratory bench, PhD student Kaja Malanowska lifts the cover from a petri dish to pick up a half a billion or