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Opening the Doors of Wonder: Reflections on Religious Rites by Arthur J. Magida

By Arthur J. Magida

This daring, pioneering ebook explores rites of passage in the USA by way of sifting during the bills of influential thinkers who skilled them. Arthur J. Magida explains the underlying theologies, evolution, and real perform of Jewish bar and bat mitzvahs, Christian confirmations, Hindu sacred thread ceremonies, Muslim shahadas and Zen jukai ceremonies. In infrequent interviews, popular artists and intellectuals resembling Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, holistic guru Deepak Chopra, singer Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), actress/comedienne Julia Sweeney, cartoonist Roz Chast, interfaith maven Huston Smith, and lots of extra speak in detail approximately their non secular backgrounds, the rites of passage they went via, and the way those occasions formed who they're today.Magida compares those coming of age ceremonies' origins and evolution, considers their final that means and objective, and gauges how their which means alterations with contributors through the years. He additionally examines leading edge rites of passage which are now being "invented" within the usa. Passionate and lyrical, this soaking up publication finds our deep, final want for coming-of-age occasions, particularly in a society as fluid as ours.Conversations with: Bob Abernethy, Huston Smith, Julia Sweeney, Roz Chast, Harold Kushner, Ram Dass, Elie Wiesel, Deepak Chopra, Robert Thurman, Coleman Barks, Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), And others

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This was in accord with the papal law which ruled that part of Italy: the baptism had made him Christian, and Jews were forbidden from raising Chris34 CHRISTIANITY tians, even their own children. Jews were especially alarmed about Edgardo’s kidnapping, not just because their own children were now in constant danger, but, as David Kertzer writes in The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, “Having endured centuries of forced sermons . . and having been brought up on cautionary tales of fanatic converts torching Talmuds and baptizing hapless Jewish children, .

Baptism—the one almost-indispensable initiation for joining Jesus—is central to becoming a Christian; for Christians, in fact, it’s almost central to being human. ” We want to be “sweet”—clean, worthy, pure (even after murdering someone)—and baptism reaches where words, prayers, and wishes cannot travel and penetrate. Sweeping away the detritus, it refreshes and renews us. It makes us whole again. ” Cynics have other names for it. H. L. Mencken called it the “water route to the celestial city,” which sounds like a travelogue about Venice; and in the 1960s, Radio Moscow called it a “dangerous health menace” and blamed it for the short life span of Russians—an average of thirtytwo years—under the czars, an era when nearly every Russian baby was baptized.

So adults did it for them. Now the babies—all grown up—could make their own commitment to Jesus. And communion became a way to bring people closer to Christ—closer, 24 CHRISTIANITY in fact, than anyone had been when Jesus was alive. Wine and wafer transubstantiated into Jesus’ own blood and body, and people literally absorbed their Messiah into themselves. Catholics still believe this and still rely on this. ” She never did. And then there was the young girl in Belfast who took communion for the first time in the 1970s.

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