SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Arts
June 30, 2020
Benjamin Ivry
Giuseppe Ungaretti admired Catholicism, but went in a very different direction
June 26, 2020
The Catholic Herald
The prominent Black Lives Matter activist, Shaun King, this week argued that depictions of a “white Jesus” should be taken down because they are a “gross form of white supremacy.” “I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down,” the 40-year-old tweeted, adding that the call extended to
June 12, 2020
Jacob Phillips
After Life Netflix It was hard not to feel some admiration for Ricky Gervais’s speech at the Golden Globes this year, when he took Hollywood celebrities to task for rank hypocrisy. On the woke posturing of the same A-Listers who work for ethically dubious corporations, Gervais commented: “If ISIS started a streaming service, you’d call
June 12, 2020
Sir James MacMillan
Beethoven’s symphonies have come to be seen as the pinnacle of artistic achievement in music. The distinguished art historian Alessandra Comini described Beethoven’s music as having “revelatory dimensions”. The composer himself described his work as a divine art, and he regarded his symphonies as not merely products of high craftsmanship, but expressions of a moral
June 12, 2020
Rowan Williams
David Jones, one of the foremost Catholic artists of the 20th century, might once have been regarded as an acquired taste; but things are changing fast. He is often hard work. His painting shifts from boldly modernistic renditions of landscapes – mostly Wales and suburban London – to ethereally delicate, almost transparent still life studies,
June 12, 2020
Marybeth Treston Hagan
AKA Jane Roe FX Norma McCorvey’s life was full of contradictions. She was best known as “Jane Roe”, the name given her in the “Roe v Wade” legal proceedings that led to the effective legalisation of abortion by the US Supreme Court in 1973. She then adamantly advocated for legal abortion in the late 1980s,
June 08, 2020
Terry Philpot
The novelist, who died 150 years ago this month, had complicated feelings towards a religion he publicly attacked
June 04, 2020
Junno Arocho Esteves
VatiVision will stream religious-themed programming as well as movies, documentaries and series related to art and culture
June 03, 2020
Melanie McDonagh
Caravaggio, Doubting Thomas, 1601. Potsdam Bildergalerie This is the most disconcertingly carnal take on the encounter in the Gospel of John between Christ and St Thomas, who had declared that unless he had seen the marks in Christ’s side and hands, he would not believe he had risen. Here, with Caravaggio’s characteristic theatricality, Christ’s hand
May 29, 2020
Peter Davison
The loss of all live concerts is surely one of the saddest impacts of the current health crisis, and we should spare a thought for those freelance musicians who, even in the best of times, live close to the breadline. True, there are some brave attempts to use online technology, but we all know it
May 26, 2020
Michael Tomko
William Wordsworth’s 250th birthday has been highly anticipated in many circles, with plans for rambles, radio broadcasts and readings everywhere from Cambridge to Cockermouth. Yet it passed on April 7 relatively unremarkably amid the current epidemiological and economic crisis. The peak of the celebrations was to be the Wordsworth Trust’s reopening of a remodelled Dove
May 26, 2020
Matthew Schmitz
Since Chinatown was released in 1974, admiration of the film has steadily grown. Prompted by a newly published book, Sam Wasson’s The Big Goodbye, critics have been lavishing praise on the film in most major papers and magazines. What explains Chinatown’s enduring appeal? A great part of it lies in the technical skill marshalled to