5 Things I Want to Learn More About

I love to learn and that means I love to read (a great, but sometimes tedious, way to learn). So here are the top five things I want to learn more about right now. If you have any suggestions for how to learn more about these things let me know… and you should write a list of your own!

1) Cradle to Cradle Production
Mike and I went to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago this past week and saw the Massive Change exhibit. One of the things the exhibit explored was the idea of Cradle to Cradle Production; it’s the idea that products can be made with very little or no raw materials by reusing other products or the waste of other manufacturing systems. One company’s waste may be another’s raw materials and companies can design products that can be disassembled when worn-out and reused by another company. We need to start learning how to re-use instead of stripping the earth of more resources each time we create a new product.

2) Jewish Culture in Biblical Times
The more I read and listen to Rob Bell the more I appreciate how his knowledge of Jewish Culture illuminates scripture. I want to learn more about the culture and practices so I can understand the bible better. Any book ideas?

3) Emerging Churches and Postmodernism
I have been reading books and blogs on emerging churchs and the postmodern movement but I want to keep learning more. Unfortunately there isn’t a lot out there on youth ministry in the postmodern age or how an emerging church would do youth ministry. Know anyone looking at youth ministry and emerging church other than Tony Jones?

4) The Criminal Justice System
Last weekend Mike and I went with our church to serve at a transitional correctional facility. It is a place where men from a State Prison can go to finish out their sentence and learn life skills. I realized I don’t know much about how our country’s correctional system works. What are at-risk communities doing to prevent people from ending up in prison? How affective is the correctional system in rehabilitating people? How do teens do once they leave the juvenile system?

5) Strategies to End Poverty in the Third World
What sustainable practices and programs are working to end poverty in the Third World? What are the biggest barriers right now to stopping poverty? Let me know if you have reading ideas.


4 thoughts on “5 Things I Want to Learn More About

  1. Hey Maria,

    Here are just a few suggestions based on the above topics…

    Jewish Culture – If you go to nooma.com and click on “speaker bio” there is a list of about 15-20 suggested readings that seem to mostly be about Jewish culture and Christianity. I haven’t read any of them, but it’s a list that I think is valuable to work through at some point…

    I took a class on criminal justice and we spent a lot of time focusing on the idea of rehabilitation…and how our justice system isn’t set up to rehabilitate, for the most part. Western justice is defined as justice only for those who were violated, or associated with those violated, and there isn’t much attention, if any, given to the justice of those who need help. So we have a very one sided justice system. I’ll look through my course readings/syllabus for that class and see if there’s anything that’s worth recommending.

    And, I’m not sure if you’ve read End of Poverty by Sachs…but that addresses pretty much your question on a macro level, but I’m not sure how much it deals with what we as individuals can do…so I’m interested to see if there are any more recommendations in that area!

    Happy reading/learning!!!

  2. I would agree with reading “The End of Poverty”, I’ve read it and it has alot of intresting concepts. And it is written so that I (someone who loathed her Econ 101 class) could understand it! 🙂 The book did take me a while to get through, one chapter at a time! 🙂 As for criminal justice, try talking to people who are involved in that area. One of my best friends works with offenders and it is always interesting to hear her perspective and her stories. Also there is a good documentary “What I Want my Words to Do to You: Voices from Within a Maximum Security Women’s Prison” by Eve Ensler. I have seen it and it’s wonderful! She takes women prisoners and has them participate in english classes and they write their stories out (many of which are hard and heartbreaking. Reinforcing the fact that violence and crime are cyclical, along with poverty.) I would suggest watching that, it really is a good movie. As for the three “R’s”, look in your local community for councils or groups that promote green living. My neighborhood here in Madison has a whole “task force” to encourage people to live green and there are newsletters with tips! Community involvement is key! 🙂 (But you knew that already!) As for the other stuff, I have no idea, let me know what you find!


  3. Maria,
    A must do for understanding Jewish Culture is to read Tim and Jessia’s blog – especially go throught their photos. Tim’s abundant knowlege of Israel, his great commentary on their travels in Israel, and the photos have taught me so much and it’s all fascinating.

  4. I’ve enjoyed your thoughts.

    – Kara Powell, “Deep Ministry in a Shallow World
    -Transformation by Bob Roberts Jr. – is geared to the church but youth principles can be found or adapted

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