16 February 2012

Linsanity and Asian American Christianity

Linsanity and Asian American Christianity, by Carl Park (The Gospel Coalition, 15 February 2012)

By now, especially after his game-winning shot vs. Toronto on Tuesday night, many of us have seen or read about Jeremy Lin, the came-out-of-nowhere starting point guard of the New York Knicks. Some of the stories and blogs are about Lin the Asian American, and some are about Lin the Christian. Some, like my friend Michael Luo's very personal piece in The New York Times, are about both. In his article, Luo talks about a "species" of Christianity, Asian American Christianity, and wonders why he, a Christian and an Asian American, connects differently to Lin than he does to Tim Tebow. He asks, and starts to answer, What is Asian American Christianity?
Link: Linsanity and Asian American Christianity

13 February 2012

Helping Pilgrims:The Smart Way to Mecca

Helping Pilgrims:The Smart Way to Mecca (The Economist, 13 February 2012)

The holy city is also notoriously tricky to get around: each year more than 2m Muslims converge on it and often have a hard time finding their tents in the giant camps whose alleys are not well marked. "Some people get lost for days before being able to rejoin their group," says Habiburrahman Dastageeri, a 31-year-old German-Afghan, who has yet to go on his own haj, but has already struggled with the umrah, a less complex, and less crowded, pilgrimage to Mecca that can be performed at any time of the year.

The experience inspired the computer scientist to develop a smartphone app which helps hajjis to avoid stress so they can focus on their religious duties. The app, currently available only for iPhone, though an Android version is in the works, is called Amir, which means "guide" in Arabic (among other things). It offers a check-list to ensure the pilgrim is fully prepared before setting off to Saudi Arabia. It also includes interactive tutorials, for instance on what to do while walking seven times counter-clockwise around the Kabah, the Black Stone, or how properly to stone the Devil. Once they arrive, pilgrims can use Amir to check where they are and to locate their tent. On top of that, the app has a buildt-in emergency button so people in need can easily be located by an ambulance or the police.
Link:Helping Pilgrims:The Smart Way to Mecca

09 February 2012

The Faith and Fate of Jeremy Lin

The Faith and Fate of Jeremy Lin: An Interview with Jeremy Lin (Patheos.com, 3 March 2010)

As an Asian-American, this basketball phenom at Harvard is blazing a trail. As a Christian, he's striving to walk in faith.

Jeremy Lin was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and led his basketball team at Palo Alto High School to the state championships in his senior year. At Harvard University, Lin has built a national following, has been hailed as one of the finest point guards in the nation, and stands poised to enter the NBA as a high draft pick and the first Asian-American to achieve prominence in the NBA.

Lin is among those receiving the highest number of votes for the Bob Cousy award, given annually to the nation's most effective point guard. He has been profiled in Time, Sports Illustrated and ESPN: The Magazine, as well as countless basketball magazines and newspapers from the United States to China. He spoke with Timothy Dalrymple in his dorm room at Harvard University.
Link:The Faith and Fate of Jeremy Lin: An Interview with Jeremy Lin

Nag Hammadi codices: a new interpretive approach

Nag Hammadi codices: a new interpretive approach (Past Horizons: Adventures in Archaeology, 9 February 2012)

The texts of the Nag Hammadi codices have commonly been treated as mere witnesses to Gnostic texts in Greek mainly from the second and third centuries. A new research project will now challenge this approach by interpreting the Coptic texts of these codices within the context of their probable production and use in fourth- and fifth-century Egyptian monasticism.
Link: Nag Hammadi codices: a new interpretive approach

08 February 2012

Mindful Eating as Food for Thought

Mindful Eating as Food for Thought, by Jeff Gordinier (New York Times, 7 February 2012)

TRY this: place a forkful of food in your mouth. It doesn’t matter what the food is, but make it something you love — let’s say it’s that first nibble from three hot, fragrant, perfectly cooked ravioli. Now comes the hard part. Put the fork down. This could be a lot more challenging than you imagine, because that first bite was very good and another immediately beckons. You’re hungry.


Continue this way throughout the course of a meal, and you’ll experience the third-eye-opening pleasures and frustrations of a practice known as mindful eating. The concept has roots in Buddhist teachings. Just as there are forms of meditation that involve sitting, breathing, standing and walking, many Buddhist teachers encourage their students to meditate with food, expanding consciousness by paying close attention to the sensation and purpose of each morsel. In one common exercise, a student is given three raisins, or a tangerine, to spend 10 or 20 minutes gazing at, musing on, holding and patiently masticating.
Link: Mindful Eating as Food for Thought