Thursday, March 31, 2011

Illuminating the Word of God // The St. John's Bible

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Jeff Strickler

It’s impossible not to be mesmerized by the meticulous craftsmanship of The Saint John’s Bible: exquisite calligraphy done with hand-cut quills, stencils and stamps of gold powder, and pages made of calfskin gilded with gold leaf.

But it’s not an art book, insist the people who are working with it. It’s an interpretation of the Bible that incorporates ancient craft with modern-day worship, and its theological relevance goes far beyond its appearance.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Completely Free to Be Vulnerable // Martha Depp on Art and Cancer

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Trent Gilliss

This afternoon we received the following email from Ben Depp, a photographer whose sister Martha, an artist and art teacher, was diagnosed with an advanced form of ovarian cancer:


“I put together a six-minute film on her art, life, and cancer. I think this is a good fit for your blog because of her spiritual journey through her cancer process, and it’s very interesting because of how she illustrated the process with painting and drawing. Her blog has touched thousands including many with terminal cancer.”

I don’t know why, but I started watching Ben’s quietly touching video, half expecting an against all odds type of story. It wasn’t to be.

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Tonight at Duke // "St. Paul's Conversion from Word to Music" Pre-concert Panel Discussion

Monday, March 28, 2011
7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
0014 Westbrook

Duke Chapel and Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts will sponsor a pre-concert panel discussion for a performance of Mendelssohn's St. Paul to be held April 3. There will be presentations at the panel discussion by Divinity School Dean Richard Hays, an international authority on the writings of Paul; Larry Todd, Duke University professor of music and a world-renowned authority on Mendelssohn; and Siegwart Reichwald, associate professor of musicology at Converse College and author of "The Genesis of Felix Mendelssohn's Paulus." Excerpts will be played and sung. There also will be time for questions. Admission is free.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tomorrow in Durham // Divinity Women's Center Art Show and Open-Mic Poetry

The Duke Divinity School Women's Center will kick off its art show with an open-mic poetry reading at Bean Traders on Ninth Street on March 24th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The exhibit will feature female artists’ work as well as art about women. Everyone who attends receives free drinks, compliments of The Duke Divinity School Women’s Center. Contact: eunsung.kim@duke.edu.

'Miral' //Julian Schnabel Discusses His New Film, a Palestinian Story


Full article here // Excerpt below

By Deborah Sontag

At an exhibition opening in Rome in 2007, Julian Schnabel, the burly artist and filmmaker known for his enormous canvases and outsize personality, met a svelte, stylish journalist who was born in Haifa and lived in Italy. As they chatted, Mr. Schnabel tried to place her accent.

“I said, ‘Are you Indian?’ ” he recollected. “She said, ‘No, I’m Israeli.’ I said, ‘So, you’re Jewish?’ She said, ‘No, I’m Palestinian.’ And then I hesitated for a moment. She said, ‘Are you scared?’ I said, ‘Should I be?’ ”

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Wild Goose Festival // An Arts, Music, Justice and Spirituality Festival in Pittsboro

Wild Goose Festival - June 23 - 26, 2011 Shakori Hills Farm, NC from Wild Goose on Vimeo.


The Wild Goose is a Celtic metaphor for the Holy Spirit. We are followers of Jesus creating a festival of justice, spirituality, music and the arts. The festival is rooted in the Christian tradition and therefore open to all regardless of belief, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, denomination or religious affiliation. June 23-26, 2011.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Worship in Black and White // From Christianity Today

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Reynolds Chapman

Learning the history of the black church has also taught me how to prepare and lead worship. The black church in America was formed, in part, because white churches (as majority cultures are wont to do) assumed that blacks should assimilate into white, Western culture. Thus some African instruments, such as the talking drum, were banned because they were thought to be demonic. This led me to ask, In what ways are my assumptions and impulses in preparing worship music guided by white cultural bias? The cross-cultural tensions between black and white churches are, to be sure, complex, but this historical example helped me realize that I could not simply add a few black gospel songs to the worship set, but needed to think about ways to fully integrate black and white cultures into worship.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Hymns That Keep on Going // From Christianity Today

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Robert T. Coote

There are many ways to identify the most lasting or best loved hymns among American Protestants. But what would we find by looking at all 28 hymnals published by mainline Protestant denominations from the late 1800s to the present? Out of almost 5,000 hymns, how many would appear in all 28 hymnals?

Why limit this analysis to mainline Protestant denominations? For one thing, a comparable series of hymnals from evangelical denominations from the late 1800s does not exist. And the hymnals most widely used by evangelical denominations in the past 40 years have been produced by independent publishers and therefore lack clear precedents.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Shared Cultural Spaces // Islam and the West in Arts and Science

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Shubha Bala

When we think of historic Islamic scholars, it’s easy to think of philosophy and literature and forget the science. From February 24-26, the University of Minnesota’s program in Religious Studies held the Shared Cultural Spaces conference, which aimed to “explore the ways in which Muslim contributions to literature, arts, science, and architecture have influenced and become foundational to Western humanistic and scientific expressions.”

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One on One: Girl Talk, Computer Musician // An Interview with Greg Gillis

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Nick Bilton

Gregg Gillis, a musician who performs under the name Girl Talk, creates a unique style of music using a laptop computer to chop up and reuse mainstream pop songs. His work, which is heavily influenced by mathematics, manages to pair divergent genres of music, mixing Madonna and Black Sabbath. His work has also questioned copyright law and fair use with respect to digital music. The following is an edited version of an interview with Mr. Gillis.

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Worldly Actor Finds Method in a Monastery // Lambert Wilson in "Of Gods and Men"

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Sylviane Gold

ON Friday, around the time New York moviegoers arrive for an afternoon showing of the French film “Of Gods and Men,” last year’s grand prize winner at Cannes, the star, Lambert Wilson, should also be making his way to a theater. But not for a movie. In Paris it will be C├ęsar night, France’s Oscar night, and Mr. Wilson is nominated for his performance as the leader of a tiny Trappist monastery in strife-torn Algeria.

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Charlotte Man's Poster of the Homeless Inspires and Multiplies // The Lord's Prayer and Beyond

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Elizabeth Leland

A Charlotte businessman created a poster of homeless people holding up words to The Lord's Prayer, which inspired a Winston-Salem surgeon to create a similar poster with words to a Bible verse, which in turn inspired a former teacher from Thomasville to create a poster.

Sales of the three posters have brought more than $14,000 to help the homeless.

And there's no telling where Brian Hadley's idea may turn up next.

Keep reading...

__________


I like this idea on a basic level--visually reclaiming the Lord's Prayer on behalf of ALL God's people, and I particularly like the approach to embodying Matthew 25 with one of the other posters. And from where I'm sitting right now in my old bedroom in my parents' house in Charlotte, I can turn my head just over my right shoulder and see one of those Lord's Prayer posters on my wall. I like the poster, and I was glad to see the article in this morning's Charlotte Observer.

But I'm currently taking Amy Laura Hall's introductory Ethics course at Duke Divinity, and we recently discussed representation via media of other cultures and socioeconomic stations--a distressing conversation about how to deal with issues like poverty and development without objectifying or exploiting the human beings on whom such "issues" ultimately center. So I'm hyper-aware of problems of paternalism and the like right now, and I can't help but get mildly uncomfortable at a photo of a businessman in a suit holding a framed poster covered with images of unnamed "homeless people."

There's nothing inherently wrong going on here, and I applaud Mr. Hadley's attempt to bring the Lord's Prayer "home" in a real, jarring way, particularly with a philanthropic thrust. I just wanted to name a few things that might have made me like the article (and maybe the poster too) even more: names. Stories. Reactions. It is inspiring--to middle class folks like me--to hear how this idea has spread and raised money for organizations supporting the homeless. But I'm curious how "the homeless" feel about it. How do they understand the Lord's Prayer? Matthew 25? In simply putting together the image, we're given a hint of a reflection on such questions, but no real answer. I want to challenge people like me to be concerned with such answers.

-- Sarah

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hip-Hop Mosaic // From Faith & Leadership

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Jeff Strickler

To say that the Rev. Efrem Smith thinks outside the box isn’t entirely accurate. He doesn’t recognize the box in the first place. Not that others haven’t pointed it out to him, or even tried to put him in one from time to time. But he isn’t having any part of it.

It was an outlook he got early in life. Growing up in an integrated neighborhood in Minneapolis in the 1970s, he questioned why people gathered in segregated worship services on Sunday mornings.

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__________

Efrem Smith and Curtiss DeYoung will be teaching at the Duke Divinity School Center for Reconcilation's 2011 Summer Institute.

Supercolossal Street Art // JR, "this kamizake image-maker"


Full article here // Excerpt below

By Gaby Wood

In a Paris suburb in October 2005, two teenagers of African descent were running away from the police and tried to hide inside a power substation. They were electrocuted instantly. The violence that broke out in protest of police harassment soon spread to neighboring communities and eventually to housing projects across the whole of France. When the media came to document the events in Clichy-sous-Bois, they were met with an additional, unexpected kind of confrontation: behind one of the countless cars in flames was a black-and-white photograph that was pasted onto the side of an apartment building some time before and took up its entire width. From its center, surrounded by a group of boys striking aggressive poses, a black man several times larger than life stared out, pointing with what appeared at first to be a shotgun. On closer inspection, it was a video camera. Get out, he seemed to be saying, we’re recording this too, and we’ll tell the story the way we see it.

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Why We Write About Grief // Memoirs as the Public Side of Grief

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Joyce Carol Oates and Meghan O'Roarke

Meghan O'Rourke: You know, writing has always been the way I make sense of the world. It’s a kind of stay against dread, and chaos. My mother was diagnosed with advanced colorectal cancer in 2006; she was 53, and I was 30. As her disease progressed, I found myself writing down all the experiences we had — the day she got giddily high on morphine at the doctor’s office; the afternoon we talked, painfully, about her upcoming death. It helped me externalize what was happening. After she died, I kept writing — and reading — trying to understand or just get a handle on grief, which was different from what I thought it’d be. It wasn’t merely sadness; I was full of nostalgia for my childhood, obsessed with my dream life and had a hard time sleeping or focusing on anything but my memories. I worried that all this was abnormal.

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