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Faith and fish: Castaway recounts how he survived 13 months adrift in Pacific

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How did a man survive such an ordeal — as Alvarenga describes — in a boat about the length of three people and the width of one person? He pointed upward and said, “God. … My faith in God.”

Where Faith Meets Justice: Jobs That Will Change You and Your World
When I graduated from college, ad agencies and consulting groups were the big draw. If you wanted to do service, the Peace Corps was pretty much the only option, unless you had a friend who knew someone who ran some kind of non-profit somewhere. Today it’s different. The most competitive job to get right after college is with Teach for America. AmeriCorps is also a popular option, but with more than 500,000 applicants for less than 80,000 positions, it is not a slam-dunk to get in. So what do you do if you are someone who wants to change the world, find meaningful work, commit to an issue and delve deeper and further into life’s journey?
Huffington Post

Indian politics: religion versus elections
Starting April 16, the people of India will determine the government of the country for the next five years. The elections will end on May 13 and the previous government will cease to exist on May 31. The election will be fought between the two most powerful parties in Parliament: the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), meaning Indian People’s Party. The BJP has already nominated Narendra Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate. Many expected Rahul Gandhi to be the INC candidate, however on January 17th the INC announced Gandhi would not be its PM nominee. This is a sure sign the INC are willing to surrender the elections to the BJP, who are already ahead in national polls.
Huffington Post

New book: The Romance of Religion
The Romance of Religion deals with the question of the great adventure of faith. So many abandon religion because they have come to believe that it is no more than a list of rules, regulations and rubrics combined with a list of doctrines, dogmas and disciplines to be observed. They’ve missed the fact that these things–while necessary–are not the core of religion. They are the map for the journey, the rulebook of the game, but they are not the journey or the game. The journey is far more than the map even if you need the map for the journey. The book then expands and considers how we use stories to tell about the faith, the relationship of myth and fairy tale to the re-telling of the old, old, story of fallen humanity and a forgiving God.

Religion and Culture: Mixed-faith Hindu weddings are on the rise
The incense was there. So was the tikka powder and the ceremonial grains of rice. So were the turbans, the saris, and the kurta pajamas. The wedding had all of the makings of a Hindu shaadi, but in one major way, it was far from traditional. When Neil Bajpayee, a Pennsylvania-born Indian-American, made his vows in Sanskrit to Stephanie Young, a Californian raised in a non-religious family, he became the first member of his family to marry a non-Indian, non-Hindu.
Southern California Public Radio

Miles Davis, Buddhism, and Jazz featured in Hancock’s First Lecture as Norton Professor
Hancock, the 2014 Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry, the first African-American to hold the prestigious position, gave the first in a series of six lectures entitled “The Ethics of Jazz,” presented by the Mahindra Humanities Center. The first lecture, entitled, “The Wisdom of Miles Davis” tied Hancock’s personal memories of the legendary trumpet player and bandleader to broader lessons about racism, ethics, and Buddhism.
The Harvard Crimson



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