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Flickr | Kahlil Broderick
Fasting and Faith, Part I
March 09, 2018
When someone fasts, they usually take something out of their lives. But some are using that space they've created in themselves to add in social concern. 
Flickr | dominique cappronnier
Fasting’s role in ancient times and today March 09, 2018

How do we respond when we feel like the world around us is out of control? For millennia, people have found rituals - like fasting - can help them achieve clarity or a sense of control. Martyn Oliver, a senior professorial lecturer in the department of philosophy and religious studies at American University, says the practice of fasting most likely predates organized religion. And we explore the different ways individuals and communities are embracing the ancient ritual of abstaining from food, water, intimacy, and comfort as a response to modern life.

Martyn Oliver
, director of Arab Studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at American University

Melissa Feito
Catholic activists make space and time during the Lenten fast to take action March 09, 2018
Many Catholics decide to give up foods like candy or soda for a personal fast during Lent. But one group of mostly Catholic activists are instead giving up their time to demonstrate in support of undocumented immigrants. We have this story from a demonstration at the end of last month on Capitol Hill. Produced by Melissa Feito. 

The Capuchin Franciscans were among the first to arrive.

Bishop John Stowe, OFM traveled from Lexington, KY support the demonstration.

The crowd prays over the demonstrators right before initiating civil disobedience. 

Photography by Melissa Feito
Purim’s heroine Esther in the #MeToo era March 09, 2018
Earlier this month the Jewish community celebrated the festival of Purim. It involves feasting and wearing costumes, while remembering the story of how a queen saved the ancient Jewish people. And we hear from two women who are finding new inspiration in this ancient story to stand with oppressed women in the #MeToo era.

Abigail Pogrebin, author of My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew
Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman, of Ohev Shalom: The National Synagogue 

An early 20th century depiction of Esther denouncing Haman.