Next time you catch an old episode of the Flying Nun, you may want to pay attention. Because today's convents are closing. The average nun is seventy years old, and even devout sisters often have to bite their tongues when they talk about the pope. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge the twilight of the American Nun. Plus one woman's quest for Mother Mary. And the sacred music of John Tavener.
Reporter Beverly Donofrio tells Anne Strainchamps about her fascination with the Virgin Mary, and her incredible experiences at a site where Mary is said to appear. Her book is "Looking for Mary. Also, British composer John Tavener tells Steve Paulson that he merely records the music that God created, and that he scorns music like Beethoven's Ninth Symphony which celebrate humanity rather than the Divine. Tavener's book is "Music of Silence: a Composer's Testament."SEGMENT 2:
In Mark Salzman's novel "Lying Awake," a Carmelite nun learns that her religious raptures may be symptoms of epilepsy. Salzman tells Jim Fleming that her dilemma is whether to treat the illness and risk losing her mystical experiences. Salzman's other books include "The Soloist" and "Iron and Silk." Also, Lucy Kaylin is the author of "For the Love of God," an overview of the contemporary American convent. Kaylin tells Steve Paulson that the average age of American nuns is seventy, and that many orders are folding.SEGMENT 3:
Phillip Pullman is the author of the Dark Materials Trilogy ? "The Golden Compass," "The Subtle Knife," and "The Amber Spyglass." Pullman tells Steve Paulson that he thinks the process of how children develop into adult, moral people is the most interesting subject there is, and that organized religion has generally obstructed advances in knowledge.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 01-01-14-B.
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