Friday, August 24, 2007

Cultural Friday 5

Sally over at "Revgals" says:
I have spent the week at Summer School studying the Gospel and Western culture, we have looked at art, literature, music, film and popular culture in their myriad expressions. With that in mind I bring you the cultural Friday 5.

Name a 1. Book
A challenging book was the play J.B., by Archibald MacLeish, which I read in high school. It is based on the book of Job, and it was one of the first challenges to what I believed/thought about God. There have been many inspiring books, including A Prayer for Owen Meany, Peace Like a River (Leif Enger), Blessings, (Anna Quindlan). Many others. And other challenging books as well.

2. Piece of music
There's something about Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. I don't know what it is. Almost anything by Mozart, but especially his Requiem and and Kyrie in D Minor.

3. Work of art
Picasso's Guernica, depicting the Slaughter of the Innocents, Michaelangelo's Pieta, and, most important, the Peruvian folk art piece sitting on my desk: a depiction of many people from a village all carrying a cross on their shoulders. It's my colleague's favorite thing of mine, too.

4. Film
Babette's Feast. I've seen it several times. It always makes me cry. Not so much Babette, but the two maiden sisters, and the speech by the general near the end of the movie, when he quotes from Psalm 85, and the old pastor's words. I think I need to see it again. Also, the movie Holes. I watched it with my parents, and when I saw Stanley carry Zero up the hill, I turned to my dad and whispered, "He's breaking the curse."

5. Unusual engagement with popular culture that has helped/ challenged you on your spiritual journey.
I'm not sure about this one. Maybe the Tattoo Festival in Duluth, where I met the "Bikers for Jesus", and realized that they really ARE my people?
Possibly the cartoons of Lynda Barry, which I find both funny and deep.
I'll be cogitating on this one.

Bonus: Is engagement essential to your Christian faith, how and why?
Yes. Although, when I see all of the references others point to from popular culture (esp. movies) I realize that I'm not as good at it as I would like to be.


"PS" said...

There is something about Gershwin that cannot be put to words. I had forgotten about Babette's Feast...thanks for the reminder.

Presbyterian Gal said...

Rhapsody in Blue, for sure. And I love Babette's Feast too. It was the first sub titled film that did not put me to sleep. I loved the cosmic irony of it.

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

i read JB and Owen Meany in college and yep they provide plenty to chew on...

Picasso...yes yes yes The Pieta yes yes YES and someone else thought of that too...Deb I think... how art makes a space more than just walls & air!

Deb said...

Wow. I like that - Gershwin... Pieta... and Babette. And YES! The Pieta!!!


mompriest said...

Yes, Gershwin...oh, and I once used the image of Picasso's art, especially Guernica in a sermon that spoke about art expressing the world around us. And, well, Babette's feast. A colleague of mine used that movie as the illustration for a Maundy Thur sermon, I think it was the best sermon I've ever heard him preach.

Good examples!

Rowan The Dog said...

Rhapsody in Blue is just so fierce! I am not such a fan of it. But, I loved Babbette's Feast. And, I still sometimes think about Owen. It's like I knew him.

I think engagement with popular culture is VERY important. Isn't that what God was doing in the incarnation? Engaging our culture.


RevRosa said...

Guernica. I almost included it in my play but I needed to give myself some levity. There was also a delighted sense of commonality hearing that your husband likes Seventh Seal. Thank you for coming by for a visit.

Are you dry and safe? We have been reading/watching the awful flooding and weather up your way!


Leslie said...

I know it's not particularly Christ-like, but there's a great illustration of Rhapsody in Blue in Fantasia 2000. It looks like it's drawn in the same style as the cartoons in The New Yorker.

Serena said...

I have one of the Peruvian folk art pieces of many people from a village all carrying a cross on their shoulders also. It's one of my favorites in my crosss collection.

Lorna said...

Linda said "Isn't that what God was doing in the incarnation? Engaging our culture."

But He didn't become a sinner - he just hung out with us :)

Thanks for all these ideas. Babbette's feast. Wonderful :)

Doing an assignment on Christian culture now and found some great art. Opened my eyes a lot :)

Diane said...

"he made him who knew no sin to be sin for our sake, so that we might become the righteousness of God."