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When you see Sophie June 27, 2009

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Anytime Hollywood or the publishing industry presents you with a character named Sophie, it is worth pondering a moment whether they are subtly directing your attention back into human prehistory. 

Sophia was the goddess of knowledge and wisdom for the Greeks. Her name comes to us most profoundly in our modern term used to describe discussions about life’s meaning and purpose “philosophy.”  Philo = loving, sophy = Sophie or Sophia, so the the term literally means loving the goddess of knowledge. 

Recall the main female character in Dan Brown and Ron Howard’s “DaVinci Code” is named Sophie and remember who she turns out to be. Also note the title character’s name in the popular novel “Sophie’s World” assigned by many teachers and professors to introduce philosophy and a staple on many summer reading lists.

And then there’s “Mamma Mia.” It starts with Sophie inviting her three possible fathers to her wedding on a Greek island. “Her name is Sophia in Greek,” explains one of the men. Before long their are three maidens, Sophie and her two bridesmaids, cavorting about the island with the Queen of All Actresses Meryl Streep. There’s a dance around a dolphin mosaic from the ancient goddess-centered Minoan civilization and upon which Sophie faints.

Before “Mamma Mia” is over, Sophie, dressed as a prehistoric Greek maiden, has gained the wisdom not to get married at twenty, deciding to get off the island and travel with her boyfriend, who also significantly is named Sky. And we’ve also witnessed a water volcano erupt from the dolphin mosaic in what might be taken as a reference to the massive volanic eruption that blew up 99 percent of ancient Thera (Santorini), destroying much of the ancient goddess civilization that thrived on the islands of the the Aegean Sea.

Along the way, Meryl Streep has led the island’s women on a romp through olive groves onto the beach to the tune “Dancing Queen.” Coincidence? You be the judge. At the end of “Mamma Mia” we learn that Sophie  has been left a pile of money that she uses to save her mother’s hotel. Meryl explains that the old lady who her character had looked after when she was came to the island as a young woman was a great aunt, whose name, perhaps you guessed it or recall it, was Sophie.


a success for any woman is… June 27, 2009

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A female architect in Turkey has designed a mosque that has now been completed and is open. The architect’s name is Zeynep Fadioluog (or Fadillioglu). She had previously designed trendy bars and restaurants. While Turkey is a secular country, it is still very patriarchal. “A success for any woman is a success for us all,” said a young woman quoted in a BBC World News story about Zeynep and the mosque on 04-16-09.

Also: http://islamicunitstudies.wordpress.com/2009/05/24/turkey-the-mosque-architect/