It was on this date, December 22, 1885, that Pope Leo XIII proclaimed an extraordinary jubilee. To most of us moderns, a jubilee is a special anniversary, or the celebration of it, but in both the Jewish and Christian traditions a Jubilee Year is a year of celebration and forgiveness of sin. The word “jubilee” comes from the Latin jubilaeus annus “year of jubilee,” from a Hebrew word Yobhel (יובל), meaning “ram’s-horn trumpet,” with which the jubilee year was proclaimed.
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Originally published December 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.
In her 1991 Nobel lecture, Gordimer makes a brilliant if veiled charge, using theistic language, that writers are more powerful with their words than religions are with their dogmas.