To watch the body of Abel Ferrara’s films, as I’ve tried my best to do over the last month and a half, is to see a man wrestling obsessively — sadomasochistically, even — with the Irrational. The stylized violence, the scenery-chewing performances, the gratuitous and exploitative female nudity — all are window dressing. What’s at stake here is nothing less than the very possibility of grace.
“All around the world there are those who believe in the basic goodness of the American people, who agonize with you in your pain, but also long to see your human goodness translated into a different, more compassionate way of relating with the rest of this bleeding planet.” — Bishop Peter Storey of South Africa
Jeffrey Alexander and Ron Eyerman published a great piece yesterday in Newsday (also available at Common Dreams), in which they argue that the massive economic and social changes necessary to alleviate suffering on a global scale are dependent, finally, upon change of a more fundamental and personal nature
Today’s issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education features an interview with Alan Lightman, a professor of physics and the humanities at M.I.T. Lightman recently edited a collection of essays, Living With the Genie, in which various authors examine the effects of technology (both good and bad) on our lives.
Hitchens, a man obviously capable of higher-order thinking, looks at the Church and denounces it as incompatible with morality. I disagree completely, of course, but, watching events as they unfolded in Alabama, I can’t say that I blame him. Hitchens, a man obviously capable of higher-order thinking, looks at the Church and denounces it as incompatible with morality. I disagree completely, of course, but, watching events as they unfolded in Alabama, I can’t say that I blame him.
“Christian” — if you mean by Christian what the Sermon on the Mount says — is a weighty word, and it’s serious, and, most remarkable of all, it’s full of grace. Please don’t affix that word to this country, which, for some reason, has been blessed with the delicate gift of democracy but will never deserve it.
Knowing that I’m a fan, a friend just sent me this link to an interview with Ira Glass. I’ve always been struck by Glass’s even-handed treatment of Christianity, which is somewhat surprising for two reasons: 1) he broadcasts on National Public Radio (I’m an NPR-o-holic, but I know evangelicals who refuse to listen to it […]
Apparently this is going to be an unusually “religious” blog today. It had been several days since I last visited Sightings, so I had missed both excellent entries from last week. In “Your Two Cents,” Martin Marty gives voice to the many recent responses by Sightings readers. Then, in “A Just War?” James Evans summarizes […]
I’ve never read another book like Sculpting in Time. In it Tarkovsky speaks as eloquently about art as he does faith and philosophy, and does so in a remarkably kind, concerned voice. To him, his subject —the unique ability of the cinematic image to touch the soul and inspire spiritual improvement — is quite literally a matter of life and death.