March 22, 2012 |
What a divine season it is for Jesus on Broadway. On one stage, nuns make a joyful noise in Sister Act. On another, he figures highly in The Book of Mormon . Yet another has him as the central figure in Godspell . And he is now in revival - here, we're talking Broadway more than theology - in an effusive Jesus Christ Superstar , the Tim Rice-Andrew Lloyd Webber musical that opened Thursday. It's full of powerful, melodic '70s-tinged music - the show premiered in 1971 and "I Don't Know How to Love Him" broke out to become a hit. The score, with Rice's clever lyrics and Lloyd Webbers many fanfare songs, is great fun to hear again, or probably also for the first time.
March 19, 2012 |
When the Franklin Institute opens its "Dead Sea Scrolls" exhibit May 12, visitors will catch a glimpse of one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time. Centerpiece of the exhibit will be 20 scroll fragments found in the 1940s in Palestine near the Dead Sea. They are part of an extraordinary trove of nearly 1,000 parchments that include the oldest surviving texts of the Jewish Bible, several of which will be on display in Philadelphia. Penned between 150 B.C. and A.D. 70 and sealed in urns, the scrolls make no mention of Jesus of Nazareth.
March 5, 2012 |
Objects from what has been called the "Jesus Family Tomb" are coming to the Franklin Institute in May. Among them is a bone box, or ossuary, bearing an inscription that can be translated as "Jesus son of Joseph," part of a major exhibit of Israeli artifacts in which the Dead Sea Scrolls have the starring role. Also attention-getting will be a re-creation of the sacred Western (or Wailing) Wall that includes a three-ton stone from the actual landmark. The Franklin Institute and New York's Discovery Times Square - where the exhibit is running through late April - teamed up to stage the touring show, created by the Israel Antiquities Authority.
February 26, 2012
George Parry is a former state and federal prosecutor practicing law in Philadelphia At the recent National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama channeled his inner Jimmy Swaggart by declaring that Jesus supports his plan to raise taxes on society's top earners. Specifically, he said eliminating their tax breaks "coincides with Jesus' teachings that 'for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.' " Frankly, this revelation caught me completely by surprise. I always thought Jesus was talking about performing voluntary acts of charity, not forking over gelt to the government at swordpoint.
February 20, 2012 |
The press on Zola Jesus makes her out to be quite the complex being. The 22-year-old Wisconsin-raised Russian American singer/songwriter born Nika Roza Danilova studied opera during her childhood, considered herself a student of philosophy and Situationism, was a high school fan of challenging avant-garde female artists (Diamanda Galás, Lydia Lunch) and titled her latest album, Conatus , Latin for "endeavor. " That Danilova's stage name is a mashup of Emile Zola and Jesus Christ certainly tells you something about her dualities before you've even listened to her EPs and albums.
February 18, 2012
Fear-mongering The article "Prison guards cool to Corbett's reduction plan" (Monday) shows the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association's fear-mongering campaign against reducing prison populations. Corrections Secretary John Wetzel plans to reduce the inmate population by more than 2,500 next year by making the corrections system more efficient. The officers' union's claim that this reduction requires releasing violent criminals into the streets lacks any teeth.
February 12, 2012
Rick Dunham is the president of Dunham+Co., which advises charities, and the author of Secure: Discovering True Security in Turbulent Financial Times In a rather bizarre line of reasoning, President Obama claimed at the recent National Prayer Breakfast that Jesus would favor his plan to increase taxes on the rich. His logic is based on two passages in the Bible: "To whom much has been given, much is required" (Luke 12:48) "Love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matthew 22:39)
February 5, 2012 |
Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, who was archbishop of Philadelphia from 1988 until 2003, was a prayerful man. While he visited all his parishes on a regular basis, a practice for which he was praised and loved by everyday Catholics, he seemed to prefer the solitude of meditative communion with God. If his faith is true, he has now met the object of his contemplation face to face, the robes and the miter left behind. He is as one of us, a sinner before the seat of an all-just, all-merciful God. I have always trusted God to do the right thing in these circumstances, and I have likewise always been relieved that he insisted on reserving this judgment entirely to himself.
January 18, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - A Lutheran pastor yesterday told environmentalists that there is a scriptural basis for opposing Marcellus Shale drilling and legislation pending in both state houses to regulate it. The Rev. Leah Schade, pastor of the United in Christ Church in Union County, wore a hand-sewn white patch that said, "WWJF - Where Would Jesus Frack?" and dropped to her knees to demonstrate the power of prayer. Asked later to answer the question on her blouse, Schade said, "I don't believe Jesus would be fracking anywhere.
January 1, 2012 |
CAPERNAUM, Israel - A new trail across northern Israel offers travelers the chance to walk - or trot - through New Testament sites in the footsteps of Jesus. The newly opened Gospel Trail winds for 39 miles, heading south from Nazareth, across gentle green hills, through Jewish and Arab towns and down to Capernaum, the fishing town where Jesus is said to have established his home base. The Tourism Ministry believes the new trail may attract as many as 200,000 Christian pilgrims to northern Israel over the coming year.