The future of secularism: 1-25-13
Faith themes in films: 1-28-13

Remembering Mahalia Jackson: 1-26/27-13

When I was a boy my parents one year (1954?) took my sisters and me to the Chicagoland Music Festival at Soldier Field.

Mahalia-JacksonIn addition to hearing such pop singers as Eddie Fisher (once Mr. Elizabeth Taylor), we heard the astonishingly powerful voice of Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972).

I think about her this time of year because she died on Jan. 27, 1972. She was one more example -- indeed a prime and darn good one -- of the link between American jazz and religion. She was at home in both worlds and managed to weave them together in strong and moving ways.

I'm on a bit of a retreat this weekend, so I'm not going to write a lot here. But I wanted to connect you to this great site where someone has collected a bunch of Jackson video on YouTube.

It will give you a good sense of her range and abilities and how she connects faith and music.

Who, if anyone, is today's Mahalia Jackson? Do you have a favorite?

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A new survey finds seven of the 10 least "Bible-minded" cities in the country are in the East, with a concentration in New England. No. 1? Providence, R.I. Isn't Providence just another name for God? So does this mean even God doesn't read God's word?


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