Thursday, January 28, 2010
Click on the two pictures picture below for a better look and be warned some of the humour may be a little crude for the delicate amongst us:
Monday, January 25, 2010
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph in August 2009, the Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols voiced his concerns that social networking websites such as Facebook and Bebo encourage teenagers to build “transient relationships” that can leave them traumatised and even suicidal if they collapse. Nichols said that the sites encouraged young people to put too much emphasis on the number of friends they had rather than on the quality of their relationships. His comments follow an inquest into the death of 15-year-old Megan Gillan, from Macclesfield, England, who took a fatal overdose after being bullied on the social networking site Bebo. Nichols claimed that the Internet and mobile phones were “dehumanising” community life, and relationships had been weakened by the decline in face-to-face meetings.
“I think there's a worry that an excessive use or an almost exclusive use of text and emails means that as a society we're losing some of the ability to build interpersonal communication that's necessary for living together and building a community.”
Does the leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales have a point or is his view of social networking sites outdated? A social network focuses on building online communities of people who share interests and activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others. The websites normally provide a variety of ways for users to interact, such as email and instant messaging. As a subscriber and regular user of several social networking websites, I have found that using them actually helps me keep in touch with friends both from the past and to keep in touch with new people I meet either through work or socially. At a recent party, my group of friends laughed as we realised we did not have to spend time catching up on what had happened to us since we had last met as we can easily keep tabs on each others lives through out Facebook accounts. Reaching out to a friend now can be done instantly and a short message can brighten up a day and remind someone that you are thinking of them. Naturally this system is open to abuse, especially in the perilous social world of a teenager. Bullying started in the real, not virtual world and just as we have to teach out children the social skills and self confidence to face the taunts that they might face in every day human interactions, we need to do the same with online activity.
At the moment social networking sites that cater to a majority of Catholic users are small in number, but growing daily in their users and the resources that each site offers. There are five clear leaders in this area:
This website MyCatholicVillage is quite small in terms of the amount of registered users it has but it is relatively new and the number grows quite rapidly. The majority of registered users are based in the US but this is slowly expanding. One of the benefits about the site is that it follows the outline of social networking sites such as MySpace which mean that it is very user friendly and efficient.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Recently the rather brilliant Faith Central blog on The Times website had an entry on Bono and the Bible, looking at a new book in Italian, U2: The Name of Love by Andrea Morandi. There's 664 pages of Italian I won't be reading anytime soon, but the blog does give a link to one of the better sites that list biblical references in U2 lyrics.
Another U2 song to consider is “The First Time” (1993) which according to Bono is a retelling of the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) where the son rejects his father’s welcome. Useful in looking at the idea of a parable or another angle for trying to untangle this difficult parable"
Thursday, January 14, 2010
But it did get me thinking and like any good lecturer I went away and came back with all the info and will share it here!
The Book of Genesis depicts Man and Woman (Adam and Eve) leading the good life in Eden. God decrees that the may eat fruit from any tree except one, "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." Unsurprisingly, they eat the forbidden fruit and are expelled from paradise. The original Hebrew says only "fruit," (gah I can't get the Hebrew font in!) but in latter-day Western art ranging from serious religious painting, to cartoons, to hair care products, to perfume, the item in question is invariably depicted as an apple.
Early rabbis suggested the fruit was:
The Fig because the next verse mentions sewing together fig leaves to make loincloths;
grapes, which later cause trouble for Noah, not to mention many other vino lovers;
The Citron, a lemonlike fruit which in Hebrew is etrog, a pun on ragag, "desire";
Wheat, khitah in Hebrew and thus a pun on khet, "sin" - a stretch, considering wheat isn't a fruit and doesn't grow on trees; or
The Carob, because in Hebrew its name puns on the word for "destruction."
Many modern scholars think the author(s) of the text had the pomegranate in mind.
The Book of Genesis doesn't mention apples, but Proverbs 25:11 says a timely word is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. More significantly, in the Song of Solomon the apple is an erotic symbol indicating sweetness, desire, and the female breast.
Early Christian scholars often took the forbidden fruit to be an apple, possibly because of the irresistible pun suggested by the Latin malum, which means both "apple" and "evil." At least one early Latin translation of the bible uses "apple" instead of "fruit." A contributing factor no doubt was that apples were a lot more popular in Europe than in the Middle East, where it's generally too hot for them to thrive.
It wasn't just Christians who picked up on the apple's racy side. The most famous apple of Greek myth is the gold apple labeled "To the fairest" that Eris, goddess of discord, throws among the guests at a wedding party, leading to the judgment of Paris (he has to choose whether Hera, Aphrodite, or Athena is the most beautiful) and ultimately to the Trojan War. You get the picture: apples may look good, but they're trouble. Christian scholars knew the Greek myths and adapted many to their new religion.
Still, the apple wasn't the unanimous choice for forbidden fruit. Carved depictions of Adam and Eve with apples are found in early Christian catacombs and on sarcophagi. The apple was the favored representation of the forbidden fruit in Christian art in France and Germany beginning around the 12th century. But Byzantine and Italian artists tended to go with the fig.
In Areopagitica (1644), Milton explicitly described the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil as an apple, and that was pretty much it for the apple!
Some Advertising reasons I might have got confused: