Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong, author of "Why Christianity Must Change Or Die," argues that many Biblical stories, like the virgin birth of Jesus, are based on a pre-modern mindset. He says Christianity must adopt new symbols in order to flourish in the scientific age. Rodger Kamenetz, author of "Stalking Elijah," describes his exploration of Jewish mysticism. Journalist Phyllis Tickle, author of "God-Talk in America," explains why there's so much debate over the concept of a personal God. And English novelist Jim Crace, author of "Quarantine," explains why he - a committed atheist - wrote a novel about Jesus' 40 days in the desert.
Controversial Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong tells Jim Fleming that Christianity is mired in ancient beliefs grounded in a world-view that has been obsolete for centuries. His book on the subject is "Why Christianity Must Change or Die." Also, poet and Jew Rodger Kamanetz tells Judith Strasser how meeting the Dalai Lama and learning about Buddhism plunged him deep into Jewish mysticism. Kamanetz directs Jewish Studies at Louisiana State University and is the author of "Stalking Elijah."SEGMENT 2:
Phyllis Tickle is a contributing editor in religion to Publisher's Weekly, and author of "God-Talk in America." She talks with Jim Fleming about the impact Buddhism is having on American religion. She says its influence is far greater than one would expect given the relatively small number of practicing Buddhists in this country.SEGMENT 3:
Novelist Jim Crace is a hardcore atheist. Nevertheless, his latest book, "Quarantine" paints a moving portrait of Jesus and his encounter with the Devil during the forty day fast described in the Bible. Crace tells Steve Paulson how he ended up being sympathetic toward Christ as a religious wanderer.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 98-10-11-A.
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