The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


August 1998 Books/Movies/TV/Videos


Sacred Circles: A Guide to Creating Your Own Women's Spirituality Group (HarperSanFrancisco) by Robin Deen Carnes and Sally Craig is the ideal resource for those interested in exploring, expressing and developing their understanding of the sacred. The authors outline circle basics, strategies for keeping your group healthy, and thematic suggestions for your studies.

A Guide to Monastic Guest Houses (Morehouse) by Robert J. Regalbuto provides a wealth of information on these places, which for many offer a spiritual oasis in the midst of a world of overbooked schedules and stress. The author covers monastic guest houses representing a range of Christian denominations in every state and all the Canadian provinces.


Mulan (Walt Disney, G) is an animated feature about a young Chinese woman who finds an interesting way to demonstrate her courage, resourcefulness and ingenuity. What today's children need to round out their education is exposure to other cultures and value systems. Mulan heralds the ancient Confucian virtues of family, honor, respect for elders and devotion to country.


Trail of Hope: The Story of the Mormon Trail (PBS--Aug. 10, 9-11 p.m. EDT) tells the story of a group of Americans who triumphed over adversity to find religious freedom. Hal Holbrook narrates this documentary based on diaries and journals kept by Mormons on their 1,300-mile journey to the West.

A Life Apart: Hasidism in America (PBS--Aug. 25, 10-11:30 p.m. EDT) offers a rare glimpse into this Jewish community in Brooklyn, N.Y. In Hebrew, their name means "the pious." This documentary examines their lives and spiritual practices.


Jerusalem (Fox Lorber, PG-13--violence, a scene on sensuality) takes place in the late 19th century. A small Swedish community is torn apart when a charismatic preacher from America sets up his own congregation. Convinced that the end of the world is near, he and his followers emigrate to Jerusalem. This engrossing film, directed by Bille August and based on real events, is perfectly attuned to our times with its poignant observations on apocalyptic visions, the harshness of fundamentalist Christianity and the perils of zealotry.

Godspell (Columbia TriStar, G) is finally on video! This 1973 screen adaptation of the popular stage musical will be available in stores for $19.95. Victor Garber plays Jesus, a playful leader who cavorts with his disciples on the streets of New York. Godspell is a graceful free fall into life, laughter and love. It makes a grand case for delight and the pleasures of fellow-feeling. But most of all, it proves that we can be the happiest of all creatures if we just dance to the rhythm of our songbook souls!


Print subscribers and supporting Web members may comment.

Log in or Subscribe to comment.

text size:

this page: email | print

October issue

OCTOBER issue:

Women and the Reformation: Then & Now