“Religious leaders, like world leaders, now know that working for change necessitates expanded cooperation.”
[Note: Part 1 of this article was published on this blog Aug. 9th, 2010. It remains on this site; please scroll down and or check the Blog Archive to read it. Thanks!]
PART 2 – Necessary Middle Ground
Matt Sutton who is a regular contributor to one of my favourite blogs, ‘The Religion in American History Blog’, has posted a series of reviews of his summer visits to archives across the US titled “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” Although admittedly I’m not as studious as Sutton—my summer vacation time is occupied by trips to music festivals in Upstate NY, New England, and Central Canada—but as an anthropologist of North American religion, I find plenty of data, even while on vacation.
Sometimes when studying and writing seem like less than ideal activities for a day, I leave the television muted in the background, just for the movement. The channel and show are generally irrelevant because I’m really just looking for the feeling of company – another presence, however artificial, to guide my thoughts into productivity.A couple of months ago I randomly left the TV on The Learning Channel (TLC) and proceeded to become absorbed in images of a family with a seemingly bizarre number of children; women and girls modestly dressed in skirts and men and boys with polo shirts and trousers. When, out of curiosity, I finally turned on the sound, I learned I was watching the Duggar family, Jim Bob and Michelle, raise their “19 Kids and Counting”.
I’m a Blackberry girl. My closest friends and family can attest to the fact that my BB and I are rarely apart from each other. My partner has an iPhone, and I occasionally go over to the dark side. In all honesty, it has better (cooler) applications. To date my favourite iPhone app is the Ocarina (iPhone flute), or it was, until I discovered iChristian, a free application which “contains the minimum required information to become a Christian.”