Cover Story: Rediscovering the Tree of World Religions with John Bellaimey

A WISE TEACHER WANTS TO HELP

Click this image to read about John Bellaimey’s book.

MEET JOHN BELLAIMEY—Regular readers of our online magazine already know that understanding the world’s religious and cultural diversity is a pathway to peace on many levels. But you may not know that classes on world religion are not only permitted—they are mandated in many states’ regulations for public schools. John Bellaimey, a veteran educator at Minnesota’s Breck school, now is offering the wealth of his lessons—and gorgeous photos—to readers everywhere. The Tree of World Religions was developed with high school students in mind, but it also is a terrific overview of global religious traditions that any community leader should have handy, these days. Cultural competence is a required skill in most work places, today. Pulling John’s book off the shelf is an easy way to orient yourself to a wide range of traditions. Please, read David Crumm’s interview with John in our Cover Story this week. And, we’re sure you know someone who would like to find out about this remarkable book—so please share this news with friends.

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GIVING GREAT OLD BOOKS NEW LIFE

Click the image to read Dmitri’s story.

FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING—This week, Director of Production Dmitri Barvinok describes the innovative process Front Edge uses to give old books new life. Our Cover Story this week about Tree of World Religions describes the unique value of John Bellaimey’s book. Dmitri’s column steps behind the scenes to explain how this book was transformed from an earlier self-published version with a limited distribution into a flexible new edition with a bright future. Want to learn more about publishing today? Please, share this home address with friends: www.FrontEdgePublishing.com

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Click the image to read David Briggs’ column.

BUILDING BRIDGES

SCIENCE & RELIGION—Longtime religion journalist David Briggs, co-founder of the International Association of Religion Journalists, moderated a recent panel of scholars who brought fresh light to the chasm that seems to form between science and religion. Then, David wrote up this summary of the trio’s findings—inspiring ideas for those of us who prefer building bridges to manning barricades. If approached with an open mind and heart, these realms can inspire cooperation, fresh insights and even a shared wonderment. Plus, at the end of David’s column, you can watch a video of the scholars’ conversation. (Note to regular readers who like to share our materials: This is a column you’re going to want to share with friends and discuss in your weekly class or small group. There’s even a video you can show to help spark discussion.)

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Click the image to read Patty’s story.

CREATIVITY & LOVE

GOD SIGNS—Each week, Suzy Farbman writes true stories of men and women who are courageously grappling with life’s many challenges. This week, meet Patty Elizinga, a business woman and artist, who was diagnosed with cancer—in the same year Suzy herself received that news—and met that challenge with creativity and love. The title of Patty’s memoir says a lot about her attitude: Over My Dead Body! Included in her support system was the development of specially embellished handbags and a series of portraits she painted of her grandchildren. Need a boost today? Enjoy Patty’s story—and please share this with friends.

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Click the image to read about Ridvan.

HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

BAHA’I FESTIVAL—Ridvan is the “King of Festivals” for Baha’is around the world. The observance recalls Baha’u’llah’s emergence as a prophet along with his exile from Baghdad and bittersweet visits with his followers in a garden. Stephanie Fenton has the story.

PLAN AHEAD FOR MAY—Two special national observances honor centuries of American Jewish history and Asian Pacific American heritage. Our column has links to resource-rich Library of Congress websites for both months.

Want to see all the holidays? www.InterfaithHolidays.com

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FAITH & FILM

Click the movie poster to read Ed’s review of Chappaquiddick.

ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are:

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