Sunday, October 31, 2010

"Memento Mickey" // A short film evoking death, or perhaps life, for Halloween

Full Article and Video Here // Excerpt Below

by Jeff Scher

Wide-eyed and always smiling, skulls are the most recognizable bone(s) in your body and easily the scariest. They once whispered, kissed and dreamed, just like us, but now, the life is gone, the soul inside vanished and only a generic symbol of death remains. “Memento Mickey” is a Halloween memento mori. Latin for “remember you will die,” it is also a genre of art that uses death to remind the viewer that life is indeed fleeting.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Otherworldly Sounds at a Spiritual Retreat // Meredith Monk and the White Light Festival

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Vivien Schweitzer

When Meredith Monk performed her “Click Song No. 1” on Thursday, it sounded as if she was accompanied by an array of percussion. But she was alone onstage as she offered a taste of her remarkable extended vocal technique, a petite figure framed by an enormous bright blue screen that changed colors throughout the program.

The event, at the David Rubenstein Atrium, formed part of the opening evening of Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival. Jane Moss, the center’s vice president for programming, was inspired to create this multicultural festival of sacred music as a spiritual retreat for New Yorkers awash in a digital din and floundering on the multitasking treadmill.

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Let There Be Light, and Elegance // Morgan Library & Museum's Restored Building Reopens

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Holland Cotter

“Elegance is refusal,” Diana Vreeland declared. But not always. She would have had a tough time selling that line of logic to the financier and elegance addict J. P. Morgan, a notable nonrefuser in practically every area, including art. He bought porcelains by the pound, drawings by the ream, bucketsful of Near Eastern cylinder seals and box upon box of rare books, chucking the junk and keeping the gems. Such was his way.

Nor did he hold back in commissioning the architect Charles Follen McKim to design the personal office and library for him at the corner of 36th Street and Madison Avenue that will reopen on Saturday after a $4.5 million restoration. The 1906 building is part of the Morgan Library & Museum.

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The Magic Of Harry Houdini's Staying Power // A Rabbi's Son's Escape from the Dustbin of History

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Robert Smith

Harry Houdini was known for escaping from handcuffs, straitjackets and water tanks, but his greatest trick was escaping from the dustbin of history. After all, how many popular performers can you name from 1902? Yet more than 80 years after his death, Houdini is still referred to as the greatest magician who ever lived.

A new exhibit at the Jewish Museum in New York, called Houdini: Arts and Magic, looks at the visual legacy of Harry Houdini and how his fame managed to survive.

The answer to that question, at least in part, lies in the nature of Houdini's legend, which was so simple that kids are still passing it around the playground. There once was a man who could escape from anything …

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Beyond ABCs of Lady Gaga to the Sociology of Fame // University of South Carolina Professor to Offer Gaga Course

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Katharine Q. Seelye

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta may not sound famous, but the University of South Carolina is offering a course next spring devoted to her — and the sociology of fame.

Apparently one secret to becoming famous is to change your name. Ms. Germanotta now goes by Lady Gaga.

What else accounts for the soaring popularity of the 24-year-old global phenom? The question has intrigued and inspired Mathieu Deflem, 48, a sociology professor at the University of South Carolina at Columbia, who plans to teach a course called “Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame.” He believes it is the only such full-time college course in the country.

He wants to explore what makes a person famous and what being famous means in today’s culture. Or, as the course description puts it: “The central objective is to unravel some of the sociologically relevant dimensions of the fame of Lady Gaga.”

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Friday, October 29, 2010

How Art Gives Theology a Voice // Luba Zakharov on the Divinity Spotlight Blog

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Luba Zakharov

In the same way that writers of theological texts speak to one another through the arguments they fashion, so too do painters ‘write’ theology in their works. In Albrecht Dürer’s engraving, Saint Jerome in his Study (on the left) Jerome is seated at his desk, with a holy light shining above his head, exemplifying the meaning of his name, Hieronymus (in Latin), which comes from ‘gerar,’ meaning holy and ‘nemus,’ which means, ‘a grove.’ The textual basis for Jerome’s iconography (and for the iconography of all the saints) comes from, The Golden Legend of Jacobus de Voragine, published in the 13th century.

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Two Worlds // Torn Between the Artistic and Religious establishments

The hits keep coming from Transpositions, the blog of the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts at the University of St. Andrews. Their latest must-read arrives via Tanya Walker, a PhD student in Divinity at St. Andrews, on young Christian artists being torn between the aesthetic and religious establishments. An excellent piece. Enjoy! -- Leif

Full Essay Here // Excerpt Below

by Tanya Walker

I recently asked 24 young artists who were Christians to consider two questions:

What does your craft require of you?

What does the church require of your craft?

Their answers revealed the tensions they felt trying to “fit” into two worlds whose differing values seemed to pull them in opposite directions.

Keep Reading...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The 99: the Islamic superheroes fighting side by side with Batman // DC Comics Crossover

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Carole Cadwalladr

Even if you deliberately set out to try to dream up the least probable superhero ever, it's unlikely that you'd manage to come up with a character as far-fetched as Batina the Hidden. Forget Wonder Worm, or a man born with the powers of a newt, Batina is a superhero of a kind the world hasn't until now seen. It's not just that she's a Muslim woman, from a country best known for harbouring al-Qaida operatives – Yemen – but that she wears an altogether new kind of super-person costume: a burqa.

She, along with her fellow crime-fighters, a vast team of characters from around the world, including Jabbar the Powerful from Saudi Arabia and Hadya the Guide from London, collectively known as "The 99", are the world's first Islam-inspired superheroes. And this week, in what is perhaps the ultimate comic-book accolade, they will join forces with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. DC Comics, the US publishing giant, will publish the first of six special crossover issues in which The 99 will be fighting crime alongside the Justice League of America, the fictional superhero team that includes Superman and Batman.

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What the Bible Has to Say About Sex // 'God and Sex' Author Michael Coogan on the Bible

Full article here // Excerpt below
By Alexandra Silver

Editor of The New Oxford Annotated Bible Michael Coogan recently applied his thorough knowledge of Scripture to a universal and eternally relevant topic: sex. In God and Sex: What the Bible Really Says, he discusses everything from marriage and prostitution to "fire" in God's own loins (yeah, you may want to reread the Book of Ezekiel). Coogan puts the Bible, which is often inconsistent on such hot topics, in perspective, and you may find yourself surprised by what the ancient texts have to say.

Your book begins with a discussion of the erotic Song of Solomon. Does its inclusion in the Bible mean there was a positive attitude toward sex back then?

I think there was a positive attitude toward sex in general, because reproduction was essential. Anything that led to reproduction was certainly viewed positively, and the idea of refraining from sex for religious reasons was something that was fairly unusual in Judaism in most periods. In many passages it's a highly erotic text, and it was a text that rabbinic literature tells us used to be sung in taverns. Yet when I was in seminary many decades ago, it was razored out of many of the Bibles that we had.

Keep reading...

Garbage & Art // An interview with 'Wasteland' director Lucy Walker

Full Article Here // Excerpt Below

by Julie Steinberg

In director Lucy Walker’s documentary “Waste Land,” Brooklyn-based artist Vik Muniz returns to his native Brazil to see how his life could have ended up. He photographs a group of catadores – garbage-pickers who fish out recyclables at the world’s largest garbage dump – amongst the refuse everyone else has thrown away... The film premiered at Sundance and has won multiple audience awards since then.

The Wall Street Journal: Tell me about the collaboration between you and Vik on this project.

Lucy Walker: We were introduced by a friend. I had been a huge fan before and had seen his work in New York museums. The collaboration was a question of what the film was going to be. I had been obsessed with garbage for ten years. I had met a woman named Robin Nagle, who teaches a PhD seminar at NYU on garbage. I sat in her on her class and we went to visit Fresh Kills landfill. I thought it was such an amazing place. There was this crazy landscape with glass poking up and plastic bags, but it was a horrifying realization that everything we throw away comes to this place.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Fading Line Between Real and Virtual War

Full Article Here // Excerpt Below

by The LA Times

WikiLeaks, the website that publishes leaks from sources in the government, corporations and other institutions, has been in the news a lot lately for the headaches it is causing the Pentagon on information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.Some of that published military material has now found its way into an unexpected format -- a work of art.

"Post Newtonianism," by Josh Bricker, is a two-channel video work that uses audio from aWikiLeaks video released earlier this year documenting a U.S. military offensive in Iraq that is believed to have resulted in the deaths of two Reuters news staffers, among others.The artwork recently was selected as one of the top 25 videos from a field of more than 23,000 submissions in the Guggenheim Museum's YouTube Play competition.

In the piece, the screen is divided into two panels, one of which features actual wartime footage while the other shows scenes from the war-themed video game "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare." On the soundtrack, audio from the WikiLeaks video gradually merges with audio from the video game.

Read On...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Painting at 99, with No Compromises

Full Article Here // Excerpt Below

by Robin Finn

Propelled by a scholarship to the Art Students League, Will Barnet, an aspiring artist with a portfolio heavy on seascapes and family cat portraiture, left Boston for New York City in 1931 with $10 in his pocket. It was summer, it was hot, and besides the Depression-era garbage rotting in the streets, the air was ripe with raucous political protest. He rented a room for a $1 a night, gorged on cheap baked beans at the Automat and started sketching the forlorn and angry faces he saw on every corner. He was 19 and “radicalized” by possibility.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Found in Translation (Part 3) // How the author of "The Hours" learned to write for his reader, not himself

Back in September, New Creation brought you the first two installments of an on-going series of posts exploring literary translation. These first two posts were comprised of interviews with Charlotte Mandell and Esther Allen. Now comes a third installment by way of Michael Cunningham's Op/Ed. Enjoy! -- Leif

Full Article Here // Excerpt Below

AS the author of “Las Horas,” “Die Stunden” and “De Uren” — ostensibly the Spanish, German and Dutch translations of my book “The Hours," but actually unique works in their own right — I’ve come to understand that all literature is a product of translation. That is, translation is not merely a job assigned to a translator expert in a foreign language, but a long, complex and even profound series of transformations that involve the writer and reader as well. “Translation” as a human act is, like so many human acts, a far more complicated proposition than it may initially seem to be.

What WAS the Hipster? // A Sociological Investigation

Full Article Here // Excerpt Here

“Hipster” is more than a noun — it’s a lifestyle. An overused, albeit elastic, coinage, it can describe everything from vintage T-shirt connoisseurs to those who kinda sorta maybe know Cory Kennedy. And now it’s a subject of highbrow discourse. And while some of it is dry academic gobbledygook — word, have you heard, hipsterism is a play of surfaces? — there are enough interesting tidbits to make it worthwhile reading material, whether or not you ride the M train.

Sci-Fi's Cory Doctorow Separates Self-Publishing Fact From Fiction // All Tech Considered

Full story here // Excerpt below

Cory Doctorow is a best-selling science-fiction writer, champion of creative commons and, now, self-publishing pioneer. He's distributing his latest book, a collection of short stories called With a Little Help (read an excerpt here), without the aid of a publishing house. Instead, he has turned to his online community, and social networks like Facebook and Twitter, to help build buzz, get advice and even copy edit his new book.

Doctorow tells NPR's Michele Norris the key to making money off a business model that's built around the word "free."

"I'm doing everything," he says. "I'm doing everything I've ever done that ever made me money, and everything that anyone else has ever done that seems to have made them money."

In other words, Doctorow is giving away free e-books in hopes of getting people buy the paper books; he's offering print-on-demand paper books with four different covers through; he's soliciting donations; and he's printing 250 hand-sewn limited-edition hardcovers that will run $275 each.

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Where Time and Timelessness meet // Reflecting on T.S. Eliot's seminal Four Quartets

Full Article Here // Excerpt Below

by James Zinsmeister

Although T.S. Eliot would labor assiduously in several genres, it would be more than 20 years before he completed what critics and poets alike regard as his magnum opus—the exquisite "Four Quartets." Comprising four long poems of five parts each, "Four Quartets" incorporated a number of themes that had been essential to Mr. Eliot's earlier work. Each of the poems was named after a place that had deep personal significance for Mr. Eliot, who was born in St. Louis, and had spent the first two decades of his life in America before immigrating to England.

But these are more than works of personal reflection. Mr. Eliot called on a vast store of images, symbols and allusions that, deployed in a historical context, enabled the poet to keep his readers' focus on such themes as the redeemability (in the Christian sense) of the individual and the complex relationship between existence, reality and time. Indeed, the setting of the entire work seems to be "the point of intersection of the timeless / With time." ("The Dry Salvages," V, 201-2).

The State of Jay-Z's Empire // From The WSJ

Full Article Here // Excerpt Below

by John Jurgensen

Rolling through New York City in the back seat of his black Maybach, Jay-Z touches a button to let more light through the translucent roof, then tugs back a window curtain to peek out at the rainy streets of his hometown. The rapper went from a Brooklyn housing project to a top corner office near Times Square, a path traced in "Empire State of Mind," his anthem to the city that has taken a place next to Sinatra's. At age 40 and still rapping, Jay-Z inhabits the rare zone where cultural cachet and corporate power meet.

Continue Reading...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Abraham's Children // "Three Faiths" at New York Public Library

Full Article Here // Excerpt Below

by Edward Rothstein

Out of many, one. That could well be the motto of the ambitious exhibition "Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam" at New York Public Library. It focuses on “the three Abrahamic religions” each of which takes as a forebear an “itinerant herdsman” of the Middle East, Abraham, who affirmed belief in a single God. As the show puts it, Abraham rejected “the religions of antiquity with their plethora of gods, each imbued with a particular attribute, purpose and power,” replacing the many with the one.

Once multiple divinities are discarded, along with their rivalries and conflicting powers, religion is concerned with just two poles: the human and the divine. Religious events take place not on Mount Olympus or in some imagined godly castle, but in the earthly realm. Religious history becomes fully part of human history. And the telling of that history, along with commentary and reinterpretation, becomes an aspect of the religion itself.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Singer From Everywhere Arrives Here // The word on Spanish-born singer Buika

Full Article Here // Excerpt Below

by Larry Rohter

The singer Buika was carrying a Spanish passport when she arrived in the United States last week to begin her first extended tour of North America. But her music, with its roots on four continents, draws on such a wide range of influences, from jazz and flamenco to pop, soul and African polyrhythm, that it sometimes seems as if she is from everywhere at once and nowhere in particular.

Buika, 38, comes by that eclecticism naturally. She was born on the Spanish Mediterranean resort island of Majorca, where her father, an intellectual and political figure originally from Equatorial Guinea, and mother, a member of a minority tribe there, had settled after fleeing their homeland, which many human rights groups consider to have the worst dictatorship in Africa, and she grew up hearing her mother nostalgically singing Guinean folk songs.

In Montana // The novelist Thomas McGuane divides his time between his ranching and literary lives

Full Article Here // Excerpt Below

by Charles McGrath

McLEOD, Mont. — Thomas McGuane, whose new novel, “Driving on the Rim,” comes out on Thursday, is the only member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters who is also in the National Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame. Yet he claims not to be a real rancher. “All the ranchers I know have had back surgery, operations on their rotator cuffs,” he said recently. “They all have new knees. I’d like to think I belong to that breed, but I don’t.”

But neither is Mr. McGuane a hobbyist or a dude rancher. Together with his wife, Laurie, he raises black Angus cattle here on a 2000-acre spread in the foothills of the Absaroka mountains in south-central Montana, country where the sky really is big: a vast blue dome under which a sea of grass surges back and forth.

First Listen // Bob Dylan, The Witmark Demos 1962-1964

This past Tuesday (October 19) saw the release of an anticipated album of demos from Bob Dylan which contains many of his iconic tunes in their rough draft infancy. Below is an excerpt from NPR's First Listen column where Bob Boilen reflects on the new album and Dylan's enduring significance. Enjoy! -- Leif

Full Article Here // Excerpt Below

After listening to the nearly 50 songs on The Witmark Demos 1962-1964, it slayed me to think that Bob Dylan wrote and recorded these songs before he was even 24. It's one thing to write "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" or "Blowin' in the Wind" by that age, but add "Ballad of Hollis Brown," "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues," "Boots of Spanish Leather," "Mr. Tambourine Man" and other bits of genius to the list, and it really hits hard what a phenomenal talent Dylan was at such a young age.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2011 TED Prize awarded to Artist who gives slums a Human face

Full Article Here // Excerpt Below

by Randy Kennedy

It’s not common for important philanthropic prizes to go to people whose work involves criminal trespass and who make statements like the following: “You never know who’s part of the police and who’s not.”

But the TED conference, the California lecture series named for its roots in technology, entertainment and design, said on Tuesday that it planned to give its annual $100,000 prize for 2011 — awarded in the past to figures like Bill Clinton, Bono and the biologist E. O. Wilson — to the Parisian street artist known as J R, a shadowy figure who has made a name for himself by plastering colossal photographs in downtrodden neighborhoods around the world. The images usually extol local residents, to whom he has become a Robin Hood-like hero.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Musician's Search for the Human Cost of War // Michael Franti's Film 'I Know I'm Not Alone'

Michael Franti, a world-renowned musician whose single "Say Hey" propelled him onto the charts last year (and whose latest album, The Sound of Sunshine, I highly recommend), isn't just a songwriter. He's a human rights worker. Frustrated by the nightly news on conflict in the Middle East that brushed right past the human cost of the violence, Franti went to Iraq, Palestine and Israel with some human rights lawyers, a film crew and a guitar. Complete with a compelling soundtrack, the guerilla-style film, I Know I'm Not Alone, gives voice to the everyday people living in the crossfire of war in the Holy Land. Check out the trailer below, and stay tuned--I just ordered the DVD and would love to do a screening at Duke. -- Sarah

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Art and Reconciliation in the thought of Therese of Lisieux // From Being Blog

Full Article Here // Excerpt Below

by Nancy Rosenbaum

How we deal with the things, people, and ideas that push our disagreement and irritation buttons is at the heart of this week’s show with Evangelical thought leader and educatorRichard Mouw. In the audio above (download mp3, 2:49), Mouw shares a story of Thérèse of Lisieux, a late 19th-century French Carmelite nun who couldn’t stand another nun in her convent. Lisieux found solace in the idea that the nun who irked her was God’s creation and should be appreciated as a divine work of art.

In her spiritual journal The Story of a Soul, published posthumously in 1989, Lisieux wrote these lines:

“I felt that this was very pleasing to Our Lord, for there is no artist who is not gratified when his works are praised…”

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday at Duke // Spoken Verb Opening Showcase

Friday, October 15 @ 7:30 p.m.
Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture
Duke University

From Spoken Verb's Facebook Group:

"Spoken Verb is an organization promoting social consciousness and change through spoken word, dance, and other various art forms. It involves fostering and developing the craft of poetry and performance in conjunction with physical movement to help both its members and supporters grow as artists, thinkers, and people. It is a largely performance based group as well as a group that places importance on creative progression of its members.

Spoken Verb is Duke University's only spoken word organization."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Taking a closer look at the origins of Photography

Full Article Here // Excerpt Below

By The LA Times

Historians seem to agree that the first photographic images were created around 1825 by Joseph Nicephore Niépce, a French scientist who experimented with various imagery techniques, including heliographs made on pewter plates. This week, the Getty Conservation Institute is presenting research that reveals new details about how Niépce created those first photographic likenesses.

Continue Reading

Monday, October 11, 2010

"Church Beyond The Fourth Wall" // What the Church can learn from Theater

Wes Vander Lugt, a PhD student at St. Andrews in Theology and The Arts who is also the editor of the ITIA Blog Transpositions, has a thought provoking and cogent post inquiring into what the church can learn from theater, specifically regarding the relation between "actors/Christians" and "audience/non-Christians." Check out his "Church Beyond the Fourth Wall" in its entirety by following this link or take in a sample by way of the excerpt below. Enjoy! -- Leif

---- Excerpt ----

I am suggesting that interactive theatre provides a compelling model by which to re-imagine Christian mission, not as a mission to unbelievers through an impenetrable fourth wall or a mission with others where no fourth wall exists, but a mission among and in interaction with unbelieving guests in the context of our everyday lives. In order to participate in God’s mission, we need to take church beyond the fourth wall.

TONIGHT in Durham // Book Launch for Enuma Okoro's Reluctant Pilgrim, Featured on NPR

Monday, October 11 @ 7:00 p.m.

The Reality Center
916 Lamond Ave.
Durham, NC

Special musical guests!

Check out this episode of NPR's "The State of Things," where Enuma joins host Frank Stasio to discuss the book.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

In Defense of "Naive" Reading // Robert Pippin considers the proper place of "the arts" in the academy

Full Op/Ed here // Excerpt Below

by Robert Pippin

Literature and the arts have a dimension unique in the academy, not shared by the objects studied, or “researched” by our scientific brethren. They invite or invoke, at a kind of “first level,” an aesthetic experience that is by its nature resistant to restatement in more formalized, theoretical or generalizing language. This response can certainly be enriched by knowledge of context and history, but the objects express a first-person or subjective view of human concerns that is falsified if wholly transposed to a more “sideways on” or third person view. Indeed that is in a way the whole point of having the “arts.”

Likewise ─ and this is a much more controversial thesis ─ such works also can directly deliver a kind of practical knowledge and self-understanding not available from a third person or more general formulation of such knowledge. There is no reason to think that such knowledge — exemplified in what Aristotle said about the practically wise man (the phronimos)or in what Pascal meant by the difference between l’espirit géometrique and l’espirit de finesse — is any less knowledge because it cannot be so formalized or even taught as such. Call this a plea for a place for “naïve” reading, teaching and writing — an appreciation and discussion not mediated by a theoretical research question recognizable as such by the modern academy.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

We All Shine On // Long After Death, Lennon Remains An Inspiration

John Lennon would have turned 70 today and although its been nearly 30 years since his death at the Dakota hotel in NYC in December 1980, a polyphony of recently released films, albums and even museum exhibits give undeniable credence to the notion that his inspiration lives on in a vibrant manner. The below article discusses the myriad of newly released projects and reflects on the ground-breaking man himself. Happy Birthday, Mr. Lennon! -- Leif

Critic's Notebook: Long After Death, Lennon Remains an Inspiration
by Allan Kozinn

Full Article Here // Excerpt Below

Among the many projects competing for Lennon fans’ attention is Sam Taylor-Wood’s feature film, “Nowhere Boy,” which looks at Lennon’s adolescence and his complicated, often conflicted relationship with his Aunt Mimi, who raised him, and with his more footloose mother, Julia.

The Paley Center for Media (formerly the Museum of Television and Radio), meanwhile, offers an ambitious schedule of Lennon and Beatles films, as well as a photo exhibition, through Dec. 31. Numerous concert tributes will celebrate Lennon too, including a concert by the surviving members of his first band, the Quarry Men, at the Society for Ethical Culture on Saturday night.

But the two most compelling offerings are “LENNONYC,” a comprehensive documentary about Lennon’s New York years — his final decade, or virtually his entire post-Beatles career — by Michael Epstein, and an expansive CD reissue series that was overseen by Yoko Ono, Lennon’s widow, that includes the eight studio albums he made between “Plastic Ono Band,” in 1970, and “Double Fantasy” and the unfinished “Milk and Honey,” in 1980. [Read On...]

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Worship Arts at Duke Divinity // A Service of Praise, Music and the Arts

On October 7, 2010, the usual thrice-weekly community worship service in Goodson Chapel at Duke Divinity School took on a slightly different character. Led by the Gospel Choir and the Praise Team, we participated in a special all-music service. Also ministering during that time was the liturgical dance group and Katherine Hester, a visual artist, who painted throughout the service. It was an incredibly spirit-filled time and a witness to the passion for theology and the arts that is present at Duke Divinity (note that New Creation was not the driving force behind this service!). Here are a series of photos taken by Brian Bryant and posted by Dewey Williams (whose camera Brian was using since Dewey is in the Gospel Choir). The song used in the slideshow is "He Wants It All" by Forever Jones, a selection to which the liturgical dancers ministered.

200-Year-Old Echoes in Muslim Center Uproar // Mosque Debate Recalls Conflict Over NY's Oldest Catholic Church

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Paul Vitello

Many New Yorkers were suspicious of the newcomers’ plans to build a house of worship in Manhattan. Some feared the project was being underwritten by foreigners. Others said the strangers’ beliefs were incompatible with democratic principles.

Concerned residents staged demonstrations, some of which turned bitter.

But cooler heads eventually prevailed; the project proceeded to completion. And this week, St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Lower Manhattan — the locus of all that controversy two centuries ago and now the oldest Catholic church in New York State — is celebrating the 225th anniversary of the laying of its cornerstone.

Keep reading...


For those of us Duke Divinity students who are in American Christianity this semester, our reading this week (in Nancy Koester's Fortress Introduction to the History of Christianity in the United States) touched on how public schools in the 19th century largely reflected basic Protestant values. Catholics were described as "papist" and "unpatriotic."

Hostility toward perceived threats to "American values" is nothing new. How might the debate over the Islamic community center in Manhattan run parallel to the Protestant/Catholic debate of 200 years prior? Are they different? How so?

-- Sarah

Mario Vargas Llosa Wins Nobel Literature Prize

Full Article Here // Excerpt Below

By The Associated Press

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa, one of the most acclaimed writers in the Spanish-speaking world who once ran for president in his homeland, won the 2010 Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday. Vargas Llosa has written more than 30 novels, plays and essays, including "Conversation in the Cathedral" and "The Green House."

The Swedish Academy said it honored the 74-year-old author "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt and defeat."

Read On...

Also: An Appraisal: A StoryTeller Enthralled By The Power of Art

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Healing Ways // A Conversation With Acclaimed Hispanic Novelist Rudolfo Anaya

Listen to the conversation Here // Description Below

from: ARTWorks (blog of the NEA)

Anaya first made his name with his novel, Bless Me, Ultima (an NEA Big Read selection), about a Hispanic boy growing up in New Mexico facing the challenges of education versus tradition and faith versus doubt.

Anaya talks in the podcast about writing the novel and the importance of spirituality in our lives. In this excerpt, Anaya talks about how spirituality and the love of nature come out of the traditions of the indigenous culture. [:49]

Listen to the conversation here.