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(RNS) The traditional Christmas image of the Virgin Mary -- silent, obedient, observant -- has cemented a potent ideal in the Western imagination. Now the masterful Irish writer Colm Toibin puts a jackhammer to the cozy, safe, Christmas-card version in "The Testament of Mary.'' By Karen Long.
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VATICAN CITY (RNS) Just in time for Christmas, the Vatican on Tuesday (Nov. 20) released a new book by Pope Benedict XVI focused on Jesus' birth and childhood, the final installment of his trilogy on the life of Jesus. By Alessandro Speciale.
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(RNS) The questions posed by the new film "Hellbound?'' -- does hell exist and if so, who goes there? -- are no longer so anxiety-producing for filmmaker Kevin Miller. His faith journey has taken him to embrace a gentler view of hell that isn't a place of eternal torment, and holds that all souls will be saved. By Lauren Markoe.
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WASHINGTON (RNS) Seventy percent of Americans say Scientology is not a true religion compared to 13 percent who believe it is, according to a new poll by CBS News and Vanity Fair magazine. By Jeanie Groh.
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