Representations of Christian life that are sympathetic, plausible, and interesting are rare enough in popular media to deserve notice. That’s one reason to be a fan of the British series Call the Midwife, now in its third season on public television.
May 30, 2014
Art selection and comment by Lil Copan
In his triptych Upper Room, Brooklyn artist Alfonse Borysewicz depicts “the drama of Holy Thursday with the focus on Judas (pointing and distant on the viewers’ left), Jesus (girded with a towel that will call all to service), and John not distant but close to the Lord on the right. All three paintings use a honeycomb motif that points to community as our Christian identity.” Borysewicz draws from the visual languages of iconography and contemporary art. “Sacred spaces have to inspire again,” said Borysewicz in a recent interview. “So many churches rest on what they’ve been given. There’s a younger generation out there who want to authentically give their voice to it.”
“Our best college students are very good at being critical. In fact being smart, for many, means being critical,” says Wesleyan University president Michael S. Roth. In the last half century an emphasis in education on inquiry has been reduced to exposing error and undermining belief. Not only does this stance not get college graduates very far later in life, “fetishizing disbelief as a sign of intelligence” has diminished our culture. Liberal learning, argues Roth, should have an equal commitment to finding meaning in culture and becoming absorbed in creative and compelling work (New York Times, May 10).