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Lions Roar : May 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2008 91 the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Maybe your faith leads you to believe that the welfare state should be increased, or abor- tion diminished, or homosexual marriage defended—but before you can make a move, you face a vexing realization: poli- tics is a world of, as Wilson puts it, “half measures, sordid compromises, unsavory bedfellows, and endemic corruption. Is practical political engagement by people and communities of faith worth the de- scent into that mire, with a potentially at- tendant loss of religion’s clear prophetic voice?” The same can be said for the other realms treated in Lindsay’s study, from Fifth Avenue to the ivory tower of educa- tion. People of faith may want to change these areas of our public life, but they must weigh the risk of being changed. The elites in Faith in the Halls of Power are also forced to deal with the problem of their own success. Evangelicals, like adherents of all the major religions, are heirs of a tradi- tion that emphasizes the irony of strength through weakness. The double entendre in Lindsay’s title captures this tension: these are people of the evangelical faith working in the halls of power; these are people who face the temptation of placing their faith in those same halls of power. In this regard, Lindsay’s work does brief- ly become more like investigative journal- ism, as he uncovers a handful of stories that shock the reader—not with anger, but with inspiration. In a section about Ralph Larsen, the CEO of Johnson & Johnson, we learn that his family lived in a small-town home and drove the same old cars even as he climbed the corporate ladder. When Business Week published a list of CEO sala- ries, including Larsen’s, his eight-year-old son’s teacher asked what the family did with all that money. The boy responded that they gave it away; all he knew was that he got one dollar a week for his allowance. Stories like that may be an exception, but such exceptions color our received wisdom about faith practice and expand our sense of what’s happening in the world of religion. It’s a complex world, and as we navigate it, we’d do well to keep works from the likes of Lindsay and Wil- son close at hand. ♦ “THE FILM HAS A LOT OF CHARM, IS SINCERE AND WINNING.” —TENZIN BOB THURMAN A remarkable film visiting the sacred sites of the Dalai Lamas in Tibet. A pilgrimage with translator and author Glenn Mullin, this fascinating journey explores the caves where the early Buddhist masters meditated, enters the monasteries where the Dalai Lamas and others taught, and — at an altitude of over 16,000 feet — looks down into the famous Oracle Lake of Lhamo Lhatso where every Dalai Lama has had prophetic visions. The sacred sites include: Potala, Jokhang, Drepung, Nechung, Drak Yerpa Valley, the caves of Songsten Gampo, Atisha and Guru Rinpoche, Samye Monastery, Lambhu Lagang Castle, Ani Sanku Nunnery, Lama Tsong Khapa meditation cave, Tranduk, Kangyur Stupa, Terdak Lingpa, Tashi Lumpo, Champa Zhishi, Sakya, Chokhor Gyal, Milarepa’s Cave, and the Oracle Lake. A Film by Michael Wiese | Music by National Geographic composer Steve Dancz (CD is available) DVD-2 hours including 20 minute inter views with Glenn Mullin and Khenpo Tashi $24.95 ~ £17.95 | ISBN 1932907211 | Order through Amazon or www.mwp.com or in the UK www.wisdom-books.com | To arrange a film screening: email@example.com MAY 80-105.indd 91 MAY 80-105.indd 91 3/6/08 11:36:42 AM 3/6/08 11:36:42 AM