Pool of Bethesda, Argentine tango, Ernesto Cardenal, Beauty and Suffering, playlists “Spiritual Cosmonaut” and “The Two Popes” – Art & Theology Theology

VISUAL COMMENTS: “The Pool of Bethesda” by Naomi Billingsley: In a recent post on online Visual commentary on the font [previously]Naomi Billingsley has compiled and written three works of art based on John 5: 1-18, a story in which Jesus heals a paralyzed man at a reservoir in Jerusalem. According to Billingsley, the Bethesda pool is a source of hydration, cleansing and rest, and a symbol that goes beyond individual religious traditions.

Pool of Bethesda

She reviews William Hogarth’s painting for a hospital and shows sick patients who are being cared for. a “Dreamtime” drawing from the Australian Aboriginal Trevor Nickolls’ Bethesda series, which was made during his recovery after a serious car accident; and The angel of the water Fountain on Bethesda Terrace in Manhattan’s Central Park, designed by Emma Stebbins in 1842 to celebrate an aqueduct that brought clean water to New York City and improved public health (and which you may recognize as the place where John the Baptist baptized disciples Opening sequence of the film Godspell).


ARGENTINE TANGO HYMN: “Tenemos Esperanza” (We have hope): This hymn text was written in 1979 by Federico Pagura (1923-2016), a Methodist bishop and human rights defender from Argentina, and set to music by Homero Perera (1939-2019) from Uruguay with tango music. Argentine pastor Federico “Fede” Apecena, who lives in Georgia, USA, recently introduced the song to his friend Josh Davis, who heads the multicultural ministry of worship Proskuneoand they kicked out this great video performance. “The song is a record of everything Jesus wanted to do and be,” Apecena explains at the end of the video.[HT:[HT:[HT:[HT:Global Christian worship]]


OBITUARY: Ernesto Cardenal (1925-2020), poet and priest who mixed religion and politics in his commitment to social justice in Nicaragua dies at the age of 95: Ernesto Cardenal, a Catholic priest, poet and political revolutionary from Nicaragua, was a controversial figure. He supported the Sandinista uprising against the dictatorial Somoza regime in the 1970s and was Minister of Culture from 1979 to 1987 when the Sandinista government (which claimed to integrate Marxist and Christian ideals) came to power. The extension of his priesthood and refusal to At the behest of Pope John Paul II, the priesthood immediately suspended it in 1984. (Pope Francis released him from canonical censorship in February 2019 and allowed him to administer the sacraments again.)

Cardenal’s most sustainable achievement was the establishment of a religious community among the peasants and fishermen of the Solentiname Archipelago in Lake Nicaragua in 1966. He took care of the construction of a small wooden church, in which he led masses: Instead of a sermon about the assigned gospel reading of the Holding week, he opened dialogues with his community members and enjoyed their insights. Transcripts of these conversations were published in four volumes El Evangelio en Solentiname (The Gospel in Solentiname) between 1975 and 1977 with English translations in the years 1976–82 – a classic work of liberation theology.

In addition to encouraging the islanders’ interest in the Bible, Cardenal also noted their creative talents. He hired artists to run workshops, which led to the development of a primitivist art school that gained international recognition for their paintings. Many of them showed the birth, ministry, and passion of Jesus that took place in Solentiname in and around the well-known thatched roof, buildings, blue water, and lush vegetation. In 1984 the publishers of Orbis Books, Philip and Sally Scharper combined several such pictures with a greatly shortened version of The Gospel in Solentiname and published it as The Gospel in the Art of Solentiname Peasants, a slim, colored hardcover that I can highly recommend.

Guevara, Gloria_Visitation
Gloria Guevara (Nicaraguan), The Visitation1881[Source:[source:[Quelle:[source:The Gospel in the Art of Solentiname Peasants]]

“It was the gospel that radicalized us politically,” said Cardenal. “The peasants began to understand the essence of the gospel message: the announcement of the kingdom of God, that is, the establishment of a just society on this earth, without exploiters or exploited.” Somoza’s National Guard destroyed the settlement in 1977, fearing the dangerous ideas that were gaining a foothold in Solentiname, and Cardenal had to flee to Costa Rica. He blessed his community’s decision to join the Sandinista people’s army to try to overthrow Somoza, a victory they had won in 1979. The surviving peasants returned to Solentiname to rebuild, and their practice of art and faith continues to flourish to this day.

Cardenal is too known as a poet. I have only read one volume of his poems in English translation: Apocalypse: And other poems (New Directions, 1977). I have not connected well with many things, but there are a few jewels, such as “Prayer for Marilyn Monroe”, “The cosmos is his sanctuary (Psalm 150)” and “Behind the monastery”, which are printed here in full:

Behind the monastery down the street
There is a cemetery with worn things
where are broken china, rusty metal,
cracked pipes and twisted pieces of wire,
empty cigarette boxes, sawdust,
Corrugated iron, old plastic, irreparable tires:
Everyone is waiting for resurrection, like us.

(translated from Spanish by Robert Pring-Mill)


LECTURE: “About Beauty” by Natalie Carnes: “Beauty was used in a way that hurt us, with legacies of misogyny, class hatred, and racial injustice,” says Dr. Natalie Carnes, Associate Professor of Theology at Baylor University. “And yet I would like to suggest that beauty cares for the same wounds and can be found in the same wounds, because beauty is a name for God.”

In this half-hour lecture on November 1, 2017 at the Dallas Theological Seminary as part of the School’s Art Week, Carnes examines the paradox that has been expressed in Church art and theology throughout history that God is both beautiful and not beautiful. In his suffering, Carnes says – entering the devastated and scarred places of our humanity – God does not renounce his beauty, but reveals it.

The divine presence in grotesque suffering is not a departure from divine life, but is characteristic of it. And this movement into the grotesque does not counter beauty, but its revelation. God’s loyalty goes through intimacy with non-God and beauty through grotesque. The beauty that rejects suffering is false, and the one who faithfully follows the call of beauty will find himself in the scarred places of the world. After all, beauty is a name for God, and God does not give up divinity by identifying himself with suffering and the oppressed, but expresses the actual marker of divine life through this identification.

This is Not to say that suffering, suffering, or poverty is beautiful. Beauty differs from the way you arrive. Poverty and suffering can be important Websites of beauty, even if they are not beautiful themselves, because they convey the beauty of God, who is charity. . . .

Beauty and suffering
Left: Michelangelo, Last judgment (Detail), 1536–41 | Right: Matthais Grünewald, Isenheim altarpiece (detail), 1515

Natalie Carnes is the author of Beauty: A theological discussion with Gregor von Nyssa, Image and Presence: A Christological reflection on iconoclasm and iconoclasmand (upcoming) Maternity: a confession.


PLAYLIST: “Spiritual Cosmonaut” compiled by Latifah Alattas: Last month singer-songwriter and music producer Latifah Alattas [previously] curated a short Spotify playlist of “Spiritual Songs That Touch My Soul. Melodies that solve puzzles. Sounds that open me to the miracle and peace of God. ” It is great!

Alattas is the front woman of the band Page CXVI [previously]who has just returned from a six year hiatus. I am so moved by your recently released reproduction of “Your loyalty is great” with piano, synthesizer and pedal steel guitar. Alattas has made the song more collaborative by replacing all the singular pronouns of the first person for the plural of the first person and even rephrasing entire lines like the last two of the chorus that “are infallible in the pain of this world that you mourn with us Loyalty, live so close. “Or the last line of the last verse that she changed from“ All my blessings with ten thousand next to them ”! to “Blessings for all, Christ dwells in us.”

People who are interested in singing the song in a certain way may reject such lyrical revisions, but I consider them, along with the creative musical freedoms that they take, to help bring out the issues that are already there . Alattas helped me hear this classic hymn with new ears.


MOVIE: The two popes (2019), you. Fernando Meirelles: I recently saw this Oscar-nominated biographical drama and enjoyed it more than I thought! I didn’t expect it to show respect to its subjects and Christianity. The title refers to the fact that for the first time in six hundred years the Roman Catholic Church has a ruling pope and a retired pope, the “emeritus pope”. (When Benedict announced his resignation in 2013, this shocked the world, since it is expected that if you are selected, you will be in this role until death.)

The film is primarily about the relationship between the traditionalist Pope Benedict XVI. (Born Joseph Ratzinger) and the progressive Pope Francis (born Jorge Bergoglio), who begins antagonistically but develops into a kind of friendship. It’s dialogue-heavy (it was adapted from a stage play), but in the most interesting way, since the two “lead a series of philosophical and dogmatic discussions and disagreements about the nature of faith and forgiveness and the direction of a church to be relevant in the modern world “[[[[source]].

But it’s not just about the struggle of the church or the burdens of high offices. It’s also about personal faith as a struggle – how to recognize your calling in life, how to hear God’s voice and deal with your silence, and how to forgive your own tragic silence (in Benedict’s case regarding clergy sexual abuse) in Francis’ about the Dirty War in his homeland Argentina in the late 1970s and early 1980s when he served as a priest).

Francis’ back story, which I didn’t know about before, is told in flashbacks. (The fiancee is fictional, although the real Francis has admitted to having a romantic crush as a teenager and even as a seminarian.) Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal of both men as Benedict and Jonathan Pryce as Francis is very humanizing (initially not for Benedict, but his Character comes there) – and not only because of the insight into Francis ‘life in front of the material, but also partly because of small nods that exist outside of the church, such as Francis’ love for football and tango and Benedict’s piano playing and Drink Fanta. And because it shows their personal fallibility, their regret for past misdeeds.

It should be noted that the meeting of the two men in the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo was invented prior to Benedict’s resignation, as were many of their lengthy dialogues, which are nevertheless inspired by speeches, letters, and other writings in conversation with playwright and screenwriter Anthony McCarten.

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