Bean Kings, the Fantasy Interior and More…

I have three exciting announcements! :) My article, “The Elephant in the Living Room: Jan Steen’s Fantasy Interior as Parodic Portrait of the Schouten Family,” appears in Aurora: Journal of the History of Art, vol. XI [12/2010].  You can also find “Enchanting the Intellect and the Eye,” my review of A. Georgievska-Shine’s book, Rubens and the Archaeology … Continue reading

“Le Baroque en Flandres” Exhibition, Paris

If you’re in Paris between Feb. 16 and May 07, 2010 be sure to stop by the École Nationale Supérieure de Beaux Arts for the drawing show “Le Baroque en Flandres: Rubens, Van Dyck, Jordaens.” “The show exhibits original works on paper by several of the most prestigious 17th-century artists: Peter-Paul Rubens, Anthony Van Dyck … Continue reading

Art and Ecumenicity

Today I participated in “Faith in Art”: An Ecumenical Art Retreat.  The retreat was envisioned with the express purpose of bringing together people of diverse faith backgrounds to explore how art channels spirituality in all its forms. We had four speakers with various professions and backgrounds speak on a range of topics: a female icon-painting … Continue reading

New Year’s Resolution #1

Over my winter break I am reading Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art (1980), and within its sage pages have found my New Year’s Resolution for 2009. In the book, L’Engle (1918-2007) explores what it is that compels the writer to write—what she calls the “vocation of words”—and the despair that can … Continue reading

Devotio Moderna

Devotio Moderna: Ted Neeley’s Passion Play

What is a Passion play? What effect is it meant to have on the viewer? What, if any, effect might it have on the actor who plays Christ? These are the questions that I would like to answer, turning attention towards how the answers to those questions have changed over time—in history and our own modern time.

“A Longing as Vast as the Universe”

“A Longing as Vast as the Universe” As you may know, Père Teilhard de Chardin was a priest, geologist and paleontologist.  He was a rare breed, a scholar who believed with every fiber of his being that one can trace a vision of—as he put it—“a positive confluence of christian life with the natural sap of the … Continue reading

Salon-a-thon

I found three interesting articles on Salon.com today, all related to my interest in theology and teleology. The first is one of Salon’s lead-off articles for today, an interview with religious historian James Carse (professor emeritus at NYU).  He takes a very iconoclastic approach to religion, at least, one rather at odds with my understanding. … Continue reading

Postscript to Noah’s Rainbow

Postscript to Noah’s Rainbow: the Epistle to Diognetus In my web travels today, I came upon the Early Christian “Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus,” dated to approximately 130-200 AD. You can read the full letter here. And, nice explanations of it here and here. The letter’s anonymous author, Mathetes (simply Greek for “disciple”), is rather … Continue reading

Noah’s Rainbow

Noah’s Rainbow: The Development of Human Intellect and Compassion The first book of the Bible, Genesis, recounts the mythic stories of some of our earliest human ancestors. The name Genesis literally means “birth,” or “origin,” and it poetically charts how human beings developed knowledge, society and morality over time. For instance, in Genesis 9—after the … Continue reading

Making a Mountain Out of an Anthill

Making a Mountain Out of an Anthill: The Inner Drive for a Social Contract I have been reading Teilhard de Chardin’s The Phenomenon of Man (NY: Harper and Row, 1975), and gotten as far as his third section, “Thought.” His premise is fascinating, that consciousness underlies all matter. Consciousness is thus omnipresent, and ever-increases with … Continue reading