Course Outline, References and Links - Holy Manners Study #36 - this page updates frequently.
Israel - Palestine - 2 Studies

THE BOOKSTUDY ARCHIVES. A good book is even more interesting when you study it with friends. When our studies complete, we archive them here to share. Enjoy our notes, our discussions, and our research. You are welcome to their use.
Chosen?:Reading the Bible Amid the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict - by Walter Brueggemann
“People of faith can read the Bible so that almost any perspective on a current issue will find some support in the Bible. That rich and multivoiced offering in the Bible is what makes appeals to it so tempting and yet so tricky and hazardous, because much of our reading of the Bible turns out to be an echo of what we thought anyway.”
Jan 18
Session 1
BOOK READINGS - not req'd yet
AN EVENING OF INTRODUCTIONS - to each other, to the themes of the books, to the authors.
OPENIING- Ken Kitteridge LINK
- LINK  - (PDF format includes links)
   1. Video to introduce Walter Brueggemann - LINK
          An Overview of the Old Testament - 27 April 2012 - 17m
   2. Video to introduce Karen Armstrong - LINK
          Islam - a short history
   3. Closing - . LINK
   1. What would you like to see as an element in this course?
   1. Review - Wayne Holst - Chosen?: Reading the Bible amid the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: LINK
   2. Review - Christian Century - Chosen? - LINK   [handout]
   3. Review - Publishers Review - Islam: a Short History: LINK
   4. Amazon link to book, Chosen: LINK.
   5. Amazon link to book, Islam: LINK.
   6. Progressive Christianity - "How to Read the Bible: A Progressive Christian Guide" Jim Burklo - LINK
   7. Brueggemann links:
          1. The Christian Humanist - 10 videos - LINK
          2. His own website:
   8. Armstrong links:
          1. Her Charter for Compassion website - LINK
          2. Progressive Christianity - Review - A Short History of Myth - LINK
    9. Israel and Palestine Explained. 10m. A brief and broad background history. LINK
Jan 26
Session 2

Introduction, Ch 1. Reading the Bible amid the Israel-Palestinian Conflict

LINK  - (PDF format includes links)
    1. "Palestine and Israel: not totally hopeless" - Bishop Desmond Tutu - LINK
  2. "Injustice of any kind is spitting in the face of God" - Bishop Desmond Tutu - LINK
    3. "My year of living biblically" - AJ Jacobs TED - LINK
    1. Discuss biblical "exclusion" and "inclusion." What is good about each? What are the dangers inherent in each?
    2. Discuss - the Bible speaks with multiple voices. We must avoid simplistic readings.
    3. Discuss - Desmond Tutu: "Goodness prevails in the end. The pursuit of the people of Palestine from humiliation and persecution from the policies of Israel is a righteous cause. It is a cause that the people of Israel should support."
CLOSING: Karen McKeown
     incl. Willie Nelson "Living in the Promised Land" - LINK

Feb 1
Session 3
Ch 2. God's Chosen People: Claim and Problem
- LINK  - (PDF format includes links)
    1. “Jerusalem” by William Blake. Video from BBC 1's Songs of Praise performed by British male choir group called “Blake" - it’s the unofficial 'national anthem' of England from the poem written by Sir William Blake. LINK
    2. “Should Religion Stay Out of Politics” Street interviews 4min by VICE crew. LINK
    3. “How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian” 62min lecture by John Dominic Crossan. 29 July 2015 - LINK
    4. “I have seen the promised land” - excerpt from last speech of Martin Luther King. 3 April 1968. 3m - LINK
    1. Do you believe that in one special case God did, in fact "take sides" and chose Israel? (pro and con)
    2. What is the result for those who are NOT chosen and how might we move beyond impasse?
    3. Discuss "choosing beyond choseness?"
CLOSING: Bev Setterington
    1. Jimmy Carter on Religion & Politics CNN video 6m LINK
    2. The Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life. LINK
Feb 8
Session 4
Ch 3. Holy Land?
OPENIING- 80 Jewish & Arabic children singing "Imagine" - LINK
- LINK  - (PDF format includes links)
    1. "A Walk through Jerusalem" - Gabriel Hudson - LINK
    2. “Origins of Ancient Israel” by Archeologist and Professor Carol Meyers of Duke University. 63min. LINK
Meyers introduced Colloquium ’97 “Reclaiming Jewish History” (sponsored by the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism. LINK ) Reviews the emergence of the proto Israel people and their relationship to Biblical traditions.
    1. "Judaism is primarily a culture of interpretation" - Robert Alter
    2. Is there any place for Israel's "land-based" theology in the contemporary debate?
    3. In preparation for next week - Ch 4 - "Zionism and Israel"
         At this point in your understanding of this issue:
            Discuss the pros and cons of Zionist thinking - (e.g. what it did well, what it is doing badly)
CLOSING: Bob Clare
Feb 15
Session 5
Ch 4. Zionism and Israel
NOTICE: lost computer files for this Session. LINK to a haiku meditation on the vagaries of computer files.
Islam: a Short History - by Karen Armstrong
"The spectre of Islamic fundamentalism sends a shiver through Western society, which seems not nearly so threatened by the equally prevalent and violent fundamentalism of other faiths. This has certainly affected the attitude of Western people towards the Muslims living in their own countries. ”
Feb 22
Session 6
Preface, Ch 1. Beginnings
OPENIING- Dorothy Duker - "Prayer for World Peace" by Sister Joan Chittister LINK
PRESENTATION - LINK  - (PDF format includes links)
    1. "Map of the World's Religious Distribution" LINK Source: Wikimedia Commons.
    2. "Differences Between Sunni and Shia Muslims" LINK 3m excellent briefing from TestTube News.
    3. "Projecting the World's Faith - region by region in 2050" LINK Source: Pew Research
    4. "Muslim Distribution Map - Sunni/Shia" LINK Source: Columbia U per CIA data.
CLOSING: "Out beyond ideas there is a field" Rumi LINK per Enea B
    1. "World Prayers" LINK (the source of Dorothy's opening.)
    2. "Table - Islam by country" LINK
    3. "The Gulf/2000 Project - Change, communication and cooperation in the Persian Gulf" LINK A project of Columbia University in New York. A data compendium for the 8 Gulf countries.
    4. "Maps and Statistics Collections by Dr. Michael Izady" a portion of the above Columbia collection. LINK There are extensive reports and graphics (over 200) on the demographics of the Gulf.
    4. Enea B from Croatia, is also a lover of Sufi poetry including Hafiz and Rumi. She has created an exquisite collection of short meditations, with about 60 poems illustrated with very well selected photos. Do check her youtube channel out. LINK
    5. "Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time - Karen Armstrong" LINK 81m lecture on her book of the same title (2006). If our present study is a "short history", here is a peek at the "long history".
    6. "Sunni and Shi'a" BBC. Here is an excellent summary history and consequence in essay format. LINK
    7. "Islam Branches and Denominations in the Middle Least and Vicinity" (Izady) showing the sects of Sunni and Shia across the Middle East and Asia. Columbia. LINK
    8. "Islam Branches and Denominations in the World" (Izady) another rather huge map from the Columbia collection. LINK
Feb 29
Session 7
Ch 2. Development
PRESENTATION - LINK  - (PDF format includes links)
 1. Video “1300 Years of Islamic History in 3 minutes” from   LINK
    2. Video series "Secrets of the Quran" from History Channel. LINK
Mar 7
Session 8
Ch 3. Culmination
PRESENTATION - LINK  - (PDF format includes links)
     1. Ken Kitteridge - Summary Notes for Ch 1 & 2. LINK
     2. Michael Grammer
    1.Video "Konya and Rumi" 3M featuring an excellent introduction to the Dervish Dancers. LINK

     1. "Rumi: The big red book: The great masterpiece celebrating Mystical Love and Friendship: Translated by Coleman Barks. Amazon LINK - a must-have in your library.
Mar 14
Ch 4. Islam Triumphant
PRESENTATION - LINK  - (PDF format includes links)
1.Video "Fethullah Gulen - The Time 100 List". LINK
     2. Video "Gulen Condemns ISIS"  LINK
     3. Video - Maher Zain, an Islamic pop singer, and his performance of a poem by Gulen “This Worldly Life”. -LINK The lyrics are difficult. Here is LINK to Gulan's words.
     1. Armstrong has tended to shine a positive light on Islam. Is avoiding the negative a good or a bad thing?
     2. Why do we not hear more about Fethullah Gulen today?
     3. Discuss: In what ways is the Islamic world to blame for many of its own problems over the years. Is Islam currently taking responsibility for its problems?
Jack McFarquar. From "Coffee Break Devotions" by ML Kimbrough, "Continuous Praise - Psalm 113. LINK

     1. "Islamic Contributions to Medieval Europe" a wikipedia essay LINK   
     2. "The Islamic Golden Age" by MultiMusimTV. 51min documentary of  the scientific contributions to civilization by Islam at their peak. LINK. This excellent historical review complements Armstrong's more spiritual history.
     3.. Video "Turkey in Crisis: Understanding the Erdogan/Gulen Split" 23m. Real News. LINK
     4. Article "The rift between the AKP and Gulen movement in Turkey" POEMPS - LINK
     5. Paper "The Hizmet Movement of Canada's Limitations and Weaknesses for a Healthy Dialogue" 5/25/2014 Faruk Arslan of Wilfrid Laurier Univesity.LINK A critical and historical look at the movement..
     6. Maher Zain Youtube Channel LINK Zain is a pop singer who has many religious songs in English that show more about the similarities between religions perhaps. Check out "One Big Family" LINK
     7. Harris J. another muslim youth singing for "mainline" Islam. Check out his"You Are My Life" LINK which celebrates Allah.and "Rasool'Allah" LINK" that celebrates Muhammed. His youtube channel LINK
     8. Website of the Gulen Movement Canada
     9. Website of the Calgary Intercultural Dialog.
Mar 21
Session 10
Ch 5. Islam Agonistes, Epilogue
PRESENTATION - LINK  - (PDF format includes links)
1.Video - Panorama of Jerash Roman Ruins - Mike Trew LINK
     2. Video - Tour Group singing "Donna Donna" in St Annes, Bethsaida, Jerusalem - Charles Park LINK
     3. Video - Noam Chomsky "1 or 2 State Solution?" LINK
     1. Noam Chomsky answering a Quora question “What do you view as the best route to peace between Israel and Palestine? - Or, if not the best route because there is no single best route, a good route?” LINK
Note on Documents and Videos. If in clicking documents linked in these web pages, you cannot open them, it may be because you do not have Microsoft Office installed at the computer you are at. There are two FREE alternatives. First, Microsoft themselves offer auxiliary programs called "readers" for their various programs like PowerPoint and Word. LINK. Second, a complete Office Suite is available that can read and write Microsoft documents. The Open Office Project is now in about 80 languages and an excellent program set. LINK.
Holy Manners The background on the phrase and why we have adopted it. The guidelines for our studies.
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Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge. ... Proverbs 23:12 (NIV)
Group Facilitator. Wayne Holst              EMAIL WAYNE

I spent most of my life thinking like a church professional, rather than as a regular congregational member. My training as a pastor always had me asking myself 'how can I apply this discovery, insight, new information to a regular church setting?'

Often, clergy have been hesitant to share the discoveries they have made through a 'critical' approach to the Bible with their parishoners because they wonder how laypeople might accept it. I have found that many thinking laity are professionals in their own fields of endeavour and understand a critical approach very readily. What they seek are ways of relating faith to daily living.

I am grateful for the journey I have been taking through ordained ministry to teaching at the university and serving as a fellow layperson at St.David's United Church. Here we find that questioning and honest expression of our faith and doubt is readily accepted and supported.
Group Facilitator. Jock McTavish           EMAIL JOCK

I am a student and a poet, a democrat and a techocrat, an eclectic eccentric. I grew up in a loving Baptist community, so in my heart I'm still a Bible loving evangelical. As I grew in learning I found a new home in the United Church whose tolerance embraces the broadest range of Christian understanding. I most enjoy the illumination of our ancient traditions by modern scholarship. For they show in clear novel ways that the perspectives of the Special Ones were seldom the understandings of those that followed. They show all knowledge to be in relationship .

There seems a lack of understanding in our secular world for religious practices. The reasons why I still gladly - even necessarily - attend church are difficult to voice to those unfamiliar with church, or those injured by church. Elliott got it right. We find our way back to the place we started from. But with new understanding.