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Category Archive for 'Art'

Of Calendars and Memory

ShareThe sixties were generous with gifts that keep on taking. I cannot help thinking that one of them was the Church’s 1969 calendar revision for January 1.

The Church began withdrawing recognition from the circumcision of Jesus in the sixties. Today, circumcision itself is under threat in once-Christian Europe, from Switzerland to Scandinavia. Because it is [...]

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Keeping It Lite

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It was a gift from the Sixties, our user-friendly funeral Mass. Every time I attend one, I come away convinced that resurrection is in the bag. In keeping with the confident, self-affirming modern cosmology that animates our memorials, it is as if the dead were already risen. So why not just strike a commemorative medallion [...]

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Joseph’s Magnificat

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The Cherry Tree Carol is a seasonal jewel. It dates back to the cycle of mystery plays performed in Coventry during the Feast of Corpus Christi, around the year 1400. History has brought to life various renditions of it, all of them indebted to the vagaries of memory, an era’s substitution of newer phrasings for [...]

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Christmas Quiz

ShareThe National Association of Scholars, the good guys in academia, have conjured up a quiz to conjoin final exam time and Christmastime. Try it.

CHRISTMAS POP CULTURE
1. All of the following British actors have portrayed perennial sourpuss and miser Ebenezer Scrooge. Which one also had a distinguished academic career?
A. Reginald Owen
B. Patrick Stewart
C. Albert Finney
D. [...]

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Sleeping at Sermons

ShareWhen Soul-melting Sermons are Preached about Christ the Saviour, about the pardon of sin, about the glory of Heaven, there are some that would sleep under them . . . . Yea, some will sit and sleep under the best Preaching in the World . . . . Some woeful Creatures, have been so wicked [...]

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Pilgrim Art

ShareMortals that would follow me,
Love Virtue, she alone is free;
She can teach ye how to clime
Higher than the Spheary chime.
John Milton, “Lydidas”
What do you mean, “Pilgrim art”? There wasn’t any.
Precisely. There was none as we moderns understand it: a product of leisure and affluence enjoyed largely by spectators. The concept had no hold on their [...]

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A Gladsome Thanksgiving

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Glory be to God for dappled things
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches wings;
Landscape plotted and piecedfold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, [...]

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ShareThe trouble is that modern art in various ways abandoned imitation, representation, naturalism, and it now has to make out a case for its products’ still being truth. This is where science certain aspects of science are seized upon, assimilated, or sometimes simply plagiarized in decorative words, so as to bolster up art’s claim to [...]

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ShareAmong the more unnerving aspects of contemporary culture is the accelerating pretense of art to the aims, methods, and achievements of science. Call it art in drag, art in the costume of systematized knowledge, gained through observation and experiment, of the material world and its social structures. Art as counterfeit science, more accurately, as complement [...]

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In Morte Sumus

ShareI heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write: From henceforth blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.
—Book of Common Prayer

Can we stay awhile with death? This is November, month of the Holy Souls. Poor Souls, in the wording of my childhood. It is the season to remember that “in the midst of [...]

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