This week Dana Greene, dean emerita of Oxford College of Emory University, reviews the book Benedectine Options by Patrick Henry. By exploring the many ways the Benedictines approach rebuilding society, Henry refutes the premise of Rod Dreher's 2017 The Benedict Option, which is that the only option for modern Christians is to escape the secular world entirely.
“For Dreher, there is no middle ground,” Greene writes. “In order to love God, one must retreat to a gated fortress with the drawbridge pulled up. His Benedictine option is to train the ‘Marines of religious life,’ who are ready for spiritual warfare. Henry sees a different Benedictine world of many options. These provide answers to how to live as a Christian in the world. They offer a fresh understanding of how to join the local and global, and how to create an openness to the world and break down the distinction between the sacred and the secular through hospitality.”
Deepa Bharath and Mariam Fam, writing for the Associated Press, analyze the significance of the first Muslim superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to headline her own television show. "Ms. Marvel," which launched on Disney+ on June 8, has struck a chord with South Asian Muslims in the West because of its relatability and how it portrays Muslim families.
“Advocates for inclusion and representation hope the show will open the door to more nuanced on-screen portrayals of Muslims and their rich diversity,” write Bharath and Fam.
The western Oklahoma German Catholic community in the 1930s produced incipient saint Blessed Fr. Stanley Rother; Dust Bowl survivor and White House staffer Helen Marie Janning Guthrie; and balladeer and social justice activist Woody Guthrie.
Essayist Larry Guthrie, son of Helen Janning Guthrie, writes that the three “were unified by their western Oklahoma/Texas panhandle roots, culture-seasoned Catholicism, the pain of the ravaging Dust Bowl, and the distances traversed across cultures to deliver their life's social justice messages for the poor.”