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Credit: Lotte Jacobi
J.D. Salinger's Search for Enlightenment, the Birds of the Bible, and More September 19, 2013
Summary: A new biography of J.D. Salinger says he withdrew into the world of Vedanta Hinduism, why the language of prayer matters, and a provocative look at the birds of the Bible (seriously).
Credit: Mike McDermott | Flickr
Hinduism's Hold on the Life of a Beloved Author September 19, 2013
J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye is the 9th best-selling book of all time. But the most serious commitment in Salinger’s life wasn’t writing – it was his devotion to Vedanta Hinduism. A new biography of Salinger says the literary silence in the last half of his life can be explained by the Vedantic call to renounce the world.

Shane Salerno, co-author (with David Shields) of Salinger; director of a companion documentary
Credit: Rowman & Littlefield
Twenty-five Years of Polling America's Catholics September 19, 2013
Every six years since 1987, a team of sociologists has been polling America's Catholics. Now, the latest results are in, revealing profound changes in everything from ethnic makeup to attitudes towards the hierarchy. These changes are strongest among a core demographic: women.

Michele Dillon and Mary L. Gautier, co-authors, (with William V. D'Antonio, Interfaith Voices board member) of American Catholics in Transition
Credit: Ajtilley | WUWM
Why the Language of Prayer Matters September 19, 2013
Many Catholic parishes now include two or more languages in one Mass, to make room for the church's growing diversity. Take St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Milwaukee, for instance. When they say the Lord’s Prayer during the all-parish Mass, they speak six languages at the same time, from German to an Asian dialect called Hmong.

Pictured: Inside St. Michael's Catholic Church.

Amy Kiley, reporting for WUWM
Credit: Jim Larson
On Vulture's Wings: The Birds of the Bible September 19, 2013
A raven feeds the prophet Elijah in the desert. The Holy Spirit is famously depicted as a dove. Birds appear throughout the Bible, from the creation story to the Book of Revelation. For many of us, they're never more than supporting characters. But a new book brings them to center stage and argues that a better understanding of the Bible’s feathered creatures can enrich our reading of Biblical texts.

Debbie Blue, author of Consider the Birds