Wednesday, October 16, 2013

North Korean religious freedom ( variation on A Writing Class's Assignment )

The instructor for our writing class suggested, as a learning exercise, changing the order of the paragraphs of our short stories. I did that to "A Wrting Class's Assignment," liked the result, but had to rewrite it a little, not just rearrange the exact same text. Comments?

How does participative decision-making work in the monasteries?" "Is there tension between the monastics of the east and west?" Brother Jin feigned interest, occasionally leaning in as though exposing state secrets. Before they left, another lean-in: "There is absolute freedom of religion in North Korea," the monk told her, "and it's your responsibility to tell that to the world."

He had identified her from the unnecessary briefing; her intensity, the quality of her questions and her obvious high level of interest would have betrayed her to any competent agent, even a rookie.

Gwen's journalism thesis, "How the West can use an understanding of Eastern Mysticism to aid in disarming rouge nations," was controversial, especially in Eastern Block Communist countries, but creative. This creativity, as well curiosity about Phil's denial of North Korean mysticism, garnered her the tour she was on.

Philip Oslow had led a raucous life before settling down and becoming a Benedictine monk. He taught world religions at the Archabbey, and became Gwen's "Uncle Phil." He had also gained a reputation for his understanding of the impact of culture and politics on religious practice and belief.

Gwen would need every shred of courage she could find, along with much help from Phil to understand religion’s situation in North Korea. She would then be prepared to tell the world the truth. Brother Jin would not be pleased.

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