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ReligionNewsBlog.com, Oct. 31, 2003

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  • Anton Hein
    ReligionNewsBlog.com, Oct. 31, 2003 [Religious Merchandising] Publishers put their faith in churchified chick lit http://www.religionnewsblog.com/4901-.html
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2003
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      ReligionNewsBlog.com, Oct. 31, 2003

      [Religious Merchandising] Publishers put their faith in churchified 'chick
      Secular and religious publishers are adding a Christian twist to the genre
      of young women's fiction called "chick lit." Publishers Weekly dubbed it
      "Bridget Jones goes to church." While classic chick lit addresses single
      women's supposedly crushing issues - thigh circumference, man-trapping and
      how many glasses of wine one drank the night before - Christian chick lit
      includes more church singles' groups. And no recreational drinking. [...]
      Christian writing is a growth area in publishing. "Sales of Christian
      fiction have doubled in the last 10 years," says Golan. According to the CBA
      (Christian Booksellers Association), sales of Christian books are up 6.8%
      from 2002.

      [Mike Yaconelli] Car accident claims the life of Mike Yaconelli
      Well-known Yreka resident Michael C. Yaconelli, 61, died this morning from
      injuries received in a one-car vehicle accident at approximately 8 p.m.
      Wednesday. [...] Besides his work in Yreka where he pastored the Grace
      Community Church, Yaconelli was co-owner of Youth Specialties in San Diego.
      "His passionate and refreshingly honest approach to Christianity and
      ministry make him a favored speaker," states the cover from one of his
      books. He was the author of numerous books including "Messy Spirituality:
      God's Annoying Love for Imperfect People" and "Dangerous Wonder: The
      Adventure of Childlike Faith."

      [False Memory Syndrome] Psychology expert discusses false memory
      Have you ever been abducted by aliens? New psychological research is giving
      abduction survivors--and survivors of other traumatic events--reason to
      question their memories. At a talk sponsored by the Duke Psychology Union
      Thursday night, Dr. Henry Roediger described the phenomenon of false
      memory--how people can mistakenly remember events that did not occur.

      [False Memory Syndrome] Man convicted in repressed-memory murder case seeks
      A man convicted of a 1975 murder after the victim's son said he remembered
      his father's killing 15 years later has asked to be released from prison
      pending a decision by a federal judge on whether to follow a magistrate's
      recommendation that he get a new trial. The recommendation by U.S.
      Magistrate Susan Baxter of Erie was not based on the defense's contention
      that the victim's son, John Mudd Jr. _ who was 5 years old at the time his
      father was killed _ shouldn't have been allowed to testify at Steven
      Slutzker's trial. Baxter recommended a retrial on the grounds that the
      trial might have ended differently had numerous undisclosed police reports
      been provided the defense and had Slutzker's trial attorney interviewed two
      alibi witnesses.

      [Aum Shinrikyo] Matsumoto ignores closing arguments
      Defense lawyers for Chizuo Matsumoto, founder of the Aum Supreme Truth cult,
      criticized the prosecution's case Thursday at the Tokyo District Court for
      ignoring their client's status as religious leader. "The prosecution's
      argument completely ignores the fact that the defendant is a religious
      figure," said Osamu Watanabe, head of Matsumoto's defense counsel, at the
      255th hearing of the 7 year-long trial. Watanabe started reading out the
      defense team's 814-page closing arguments, while Matsumoto, also known as
      Shoko Asahara, remained silent in front of them.

      [Falun Gong] Released Falun Gong member shares details of China ordeal
      Sporting a pin with a Falun symbol, Lin Hsiao-kai broke his promise to
      Shanghai City's National Security Bureau and shared his experiences
      yesterday on how Chinese authorities manipulated his trust in human beings.
      "They threatened to make it impossible for me to survive in Taiwan if I
      exposed them. They told me 'we will definitely find you in Taiwan,'" Lin
      said at a press conference held in the Legislative Yuan yesterday. Lin
      returned to Taiwan on Monday after being detained in China for 20 days.

      [European Union] Politics, Religion Topics at EU Meeting
      Their countries grappling with tension over immigration, the political heads
      of Europe's police forces met Thursday with Christian, Jewish and Muslim
      leaders, new allies in their battle against terrorism and other violence.
      Religion and immigration issues have increasingly formed the backdrop for
      social and political disputes in Europe, and the European Union meeting of
      interior ministers and religious leaders, organized by Italy, reflected a
      growing awareness of that problem. [...]

      [Islam] Islamic preachers should speak English - Blunkett
      David Blunkett made a provocative call last night for more Islamic preachers
      to learn English to help combat the "clash of cultures" suffered by young
      British Muslims. The Home Secretary argued it was crucial, in the interest
      of race relations, for teachers and community leaders who shape youngsters'
      attitudes to help them identify with the country. Mr Blunkett said that 60
      per cent of Muslim preachers in France did not speak that country's language
      and warned Britain should not "go down the same road". Last year he
      provoked anger when he called for Asian parents to speak English at home to
      prevent "schizophrenia" between the generations. The Home Secretary
      returned to a similar theme in the annual Heslington lecture at York
      University on religion's place in modern society. He said: "It is a
      worrying trend that young, second-generation British Muslims are more likely
      than their parents to feel they have to choose between feeling part of the
      UK and feeling part of their faith - when in fact they should feel part of
      wider, overlapping communities.

      [Islam] Fury over Blunkett's warning to Muslims
      David Blunkett provoked renewed indignation from the Muslim community last
      night when he warned that extremist imams were increasing the terrorism
      threat by preying upon impressionable youngsters. "We have to understand
      what is happening in a world where young men and women can be enjoined by
      their religious leaders to take their own lives and others as suicide
      bombers," he said.

      [Media] ABC wades into tricky religious territory with special on Jesus
      ABC News correspondent Elizabeth Vargas concedes her network is stepping
      into a theological minefield with its one-hour exploration of whether Jesus
      Christ had a wife. "You can't talk about this subject without intriguing
      people or offending people," Vargas said Thursday. "We're trying to do it as
      respectfully as we can." ABC screened the special for some reporters and
      religious leaders on Thursday. The program is based on the best-selling
      novel, "The Da Vinci Code," which claims to be partly grounded on historical

      [Harry Potter] Potter 'gives children headaches'
      Children are getting migraine headaches by reading the latest Harry Potter
      book, a Washington doctor has said. Dr Howard Bennett said three children
      have complained of headaches caused by the physical stress of reading the
      870-page Order of the Phoenix. It has nearly three times as many pages as
      the first Harry Potter book. The George Washington University Medical
      Centre doctor called them "Hogwarts headaches", after the wizard school that
      the book's hero attends.

      [Aum Shinrikyo] AUM founder remains silent as lengthy trial concludes
      The trial of AUM Shinrikyo cult founder Shoko Asahara wrapped up Friday with
      the guru again remaining silent despite his final chance to speak out, while
      his defense team claimed he is innocent of masterminding a string of
      gruesome crimes, including the 1995 gas attack on the Tokyo subway system.
      In the final hearing of the seven-and-a-half-year trial at the Tokyo
      District Court, Asahara, 48, dressed in dark blue sweat suit and slippers,
      was given a last chance to speak, but refused to do so, maintaining the
      silence he has kept throughout most of his trial on murder and other
      charges. Presiding Judge Shoji Ogawa said a ruling will be handed down on
      Feb. 27. Prosecutors in April demanded the death penalty for the doomsday
      cult founder.

      [Aum Shinrikyo] Sarin cult leader remains silent
      Concluding a two-day summary of their defense, the lawyers argued that
      Asahara had lost control over his disciples in the Aum Shinrikyo cult, and
      that they had acted on their own in carrying out the 1995 gassing. Asahara,
      48, was to be given a final chance to speak at the Tokyo District Court
      later Friday, his lawyers have said. So far, however, he has not chosen to
      do so, having kept mostly silent or occasionally burst into unintelligible
      ramblings. The nearly blind defendant appeared in court Friday in a navy
      blue sweat shirt and black pants. One of his lawyers, sitting behind him,
      tried to speak with Asahara, who did not reply.

      [Aum Shinrikyo] Asahara's lawyers blame murders on Aum disciples
      Lawyers representing Aum Shinrikyo founder Shoko Asahara argued Thursday
      that their client is innocent of masterminding a series of grisly crimes,
      including two fatal sarin gas attacks. The lawyers instead blamed Asahara's
      followers in the doomsday cult.

      [Aum Shinrikyo] Defense: Guru just a figurehead
      The defense criticized prosecutors for focusing on Matsumoto's alleged
      conspiracies with his followers and failing to mention his ``positive''
      religious activities. The defense said Matsumoto's determination to cure
      people led to the formation of Aum Shinrikyo. Matsumoto was originally an
      acupuncturist, they said, but he could not eliminate all the ailments in his
      patients. When he could not find answers on why those diseases recurred, he
      was so distraught he became mentally unstable, they said. He then resorted
      to fortune-telling and other practices to heal people, but as a result of
      his studies, he believed he had obtained ``superhuman abilities,'' they
      said. Matsumoto then established Aum Shinrikyo in 1987.

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