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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Audio, Books, Movies, Videos

B O O K S
No Future Without Forgiveness (Doubleday) by Desmond Tutu presents an account of his service as chair of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up in 1995 to help the nation during its transition from despotism to democracy. The Nobel Peace Prize-winning archbishop examines the difficult Christian practice of forgiveness as an ingredient in spiritual politics.

Heaven Begins Within You: Wisdom from the Desert Fathers (Crossroad) by Anselm Gruen is a soul-stirring book about the early Christian ascetics who pioneered what he calls "a spirituality from below." These Christians moved through self-knowledge to the Divine. The sayings and practices of these Desert Fathers are like manna in the wilderness to anyone interested in everyday spirituality.

M O V I E S
The End of the Affair (Sony Pictures, R — strong sexuality) is an inventive adaptation of Graham Greene's 1951 religious novel. Set in London over a seven-year period beginning in 1939, the drama revolves around an affair between a moody novelist (Ralph Fiennes) and a married woman (Julianne Moore). Writer and director Neil Jordan traces the subtle and surprising play of grace in the lives of these two people — one a lapsed Roman Catholic and the other a defiant unbeliever. In a felicitous phrase considering the developments in this movie, Thomas Merton has called grace moments that transform lives "kisses from God."

A Map of the World (First Look, R — sexuality) is based on Jane Hamilton's popular novel set in a rural Wisconsin town. Sigourney Weaver turns in an extraordinary performance as a part-time nurse and mother of two daughters. An accident and then a charge of sexual abuse turn her life into a nightmare. The drama depicts one woman's difficult journey into self-forgiveness.

A U D I O
Eyes Remade for Wonder Sounds True (800-333-9185) by Lawrence Kushner provides a portal into Jewish mysticism. Using stories and vignettes, Rabbi Kushner outlines the four stages of spiritual development leading to "cleaving with God." This 3-hour spoken-word audiocassette is a primer on wonder as a devotional tool.

V I D E O S
The Iron Giant (Warner Bros., PG) is a tale of friendship between a boy named Hogarth and a giant robot. Those seeking a fresh alternative to the usual animated features will find this film to be both enchanting and morally satisfying. Through Hogarth's words and the gentle giant's self-sacrificing heroism, it proclaims "Guns kill."

Tea with Mussolini (MGM, PG) is set in Florence from 1935 through 1944, based on a chapter in director Franco Zeffirelli's autobiography. Eccentric English women raise a young Italian boy who was born out of wedlock. They bequeath to him a keen reverence for all the arts and the need to practice kindness, generosity and sacrifice.



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December issue

DECEMBER issue:

Advent: Waiting together

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