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Monthly Archives: January 2012

A Visit to Beit Jala

by Jim Forest Beit Jala, with its population of 12,350, stands on the eastern slopes of Ras Jala, which rises 920 meters above sea level, one of the highest mountains in the Judean Hills. The town is famous for its olives and olive oil, apricots and skilled stone-cutters. Viewed from a distance, Beit Jala — […]

Becoming Orthodox

by Jim Forest I am sometimes asked how the son of atheist parents ended up not only a Christian but a member of the Orthodox Church. In fact it wasn’t so big a leap as it sounds. For starters my parents weren’t people for whom atheism was a religion unto itself. Their atheism seemed to […]

Saint Nicholas and the Nine Gold Coins

[Copyright 2014. This text may not be re-printed, linked or posted to other sites without my permission. The book was published by St Vladimir’s Seminary Press in April 2015.] by Jim Forest Once upon a time there was a boy named Nicholas. Today we call him Saint Nicholas, but when he was growing up everyone […]

A few memories of Thich Nhat Hanh

I traveled and also at times lived with Thich Nhat Hanh in the late sixties through the seventies. Here are extracts from various letters in which Nancy and I relate a few stories about him. In these passages Nhat Hanh is sometimes called “Thay”, the Vietnamese word for teacher. — Jim Forest * * * […]

Saint Dorothy?

by Jim Forest Long before her death, many people spoke of Dorothy Day as a saint. It made Dorothy uncomfortable and sometimes irritable. If people knew her better, she insisted, they would see her in a far more critical light. She staunchly resisted being regarded as a model Christian. She famously said, “Don’t call me […]

Siberian God-mother: an interview with Natasha Gorelova

In the thick birch woods south of Novosibirsk, Siberia’s largest city, is Akademgorodok — literally “Academic Town.” Founded in the fifties by Soviet Academy of Science as a major research center, it accommodates the Institutes of Nuclear Physics, Biology, Economics, Pure and Applied Mathematics, and Organic Chemistry, and numerous similar establishments as well as the […]