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Teeth prove women helped produce 8th-century religious manuscripts

It turns out medieval religious manuscripts were not exclusively the domain of male monks. Fleck of a rare gemstone pigment in fossilized teeth prove women were involved in the making of religious manuscripts. We'll never see these exquisite books the same way again. Surviving medieval religious manuscripts can be quite beautiful, with impeccable calligraphy and adorned with intricately detailed and brightly colorful illustrations. By and large, their authors remain unknown, and they've been as...
Tags: Art, Books, Gender, History, Afghanistan, Christianity, Innovation, Faith, Salzburg, Radini, Anita Radini, Fleck, Max Planck Institute, Ancient World, Badakshan, Alison Beach


Rare gemstone particles found in an 8th-century nun's mouth shatter a historical misconception

It turns out medieval religious manuscripts were not exclusively the domain of male monks. Fleck of a rare gemstone pigment in fossilized teeth prove women were involved in the making of religious manuscripts. We'll never see these exquisite books the same way again. Surviving medieval religious manuscripts can be quite beautiful, with impeccable calligraphy and adorned with intricately detailed and brightly colorful illustrations. By and large, their authors remain unknown, and they've been as...
Tags: Art, Books, Gender, History, Afghanistan, Christianity, Innovation, Faith, Salzburg, Radini, Anita Radini, Fleck, Max Planck Institute, Ancient World, Badakshan, Alison Beach


Death threats and denunciations: artists fear Bolsonaro's Brazil

Some have employed security guards. Others have fled. With Jair Bolsonaro about to take power, many artists in Brazil fear the censorship and intimidation they now endure will only get worseWagner Schwartz received the first death threat two days after lying naked on the floor of a museum in São Paulo. It was October 2017 and the Brazilian artist had invited members of his audience, which included children, to adjust his body: move a limb, roll him over, that kind of thing. This was for a dance ...
Tags: Art, Facebook, Gender, Activism, Protest, Religion, Americas, Theatre, Society, World news, Transgender, Culture, Art and design, Christianity, Stage, LGBT rights


The Power of Love Can Make a Zombie Too!

It's hard to believe it's over. It was five years ago that I set out to write The Zombies of Penzance. It seemed so perfect, so deliciously fucked up, and the process of "translating" the story , the changing of Gilbert's pirates into zombies, hardly disturbed the plot at all (though I later made some larger plot changes).I know you want to ask, so yes, I was seriously stoned when I thought of the idea.I immediately loved everything about it. I already deeply loved The Pirates of Penzance. I lo...
Tags: Amazon, Musicals, Horror, Theatre, Zombies, Walking Dead, World, Christianity, Lea, Victoria, John, Satire, British, St Louis, George Romero, Gilbert


Hail, Zombies!

Hail, zombies, thou heav’n-made dead, Forsaken by the God we dread; Great metaphor for all we fear! All hail the end of all that we hold dear! It was back in 2013, after watching the movie Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter (coincidentally starring BBAJ's Benjamin Walker). It was just a few hours after watching the movie that I started thinking about what kind of similar mashup I might concoct in the realm of musical theatre. I've always been fascinated by the idea of art made from other art...
Tags: Musicals, Horror, Theatre, Zombies, Walking Dead, Christianity, John, Satire, British, Shakespeare, Richard, George Romero, Todd Haynes, Gilbert, Sondheim, Sullivan


We'll Hunt the Dead and Mount Their Head

Now that we're running all of The Zombies of Penzance at each rehearsal, it's easier to assess my writing, and I'm pretty happy with it. The public reading we did in January was enormously helpful, and I did tons of small rewrites, and several big rewrites, after that, including 1 1/2 new songs. Watching it now, I think those changes were all good ones.It's still weird for me because Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance has been a part of me since I saw it on Broadway in 1981, and I've know...
Tags: Musicals, Horror, Theatre, Zombies, Walking Dead, America, Christianity, Broadway, Satire, British, Kevin Kline, George Romero, Ruth, Gilbert, Frederic, Scott Miller


We Triumph Now, God Only Knows How

We've blocked our zombies and zombie hunters, and we've run the two acts separately. Next week we move into the theatre, and start running the whole show. The vocal music is sounding amazing, in part because we're spending a lot more time than usual reviewing music in blocking rehearsals, which makes the actors so much more comfortable. We're now at that point now where they have to put down their scores, and that moment terrifies some of them.The score is learned, the show has been staged, and...
Tags: Musicals, Horror, Theatre, Zombies, Walking Dead, Christianity, Satire, British, George Romero, Andrew Jackson, Scott Miller, Gilbert Sullivan, Hal Prince, Pirates of Penzance, Edwin Drood, Broadway Musical


A Zombie Hunter's Life's a Bloody Drag

In adapting The Pirates of Penzance into The Zombies of Penzance, part of the process was reverse engineering my crazy meta origin story. Our origin story says that Gilbert & Sullivan wrote The Zombies of Penzance first, but their producer Richard D'Oyly-Carte refused to produce it, so they rewrote it as the now famous Pirates of Penzance.Just to be clear, that didn't actually happen.So as I was figuring out how to translate the original story into a zombie story, I was also imagining Glibert's...
Tags: Musicals, Horror, Theatre, Zombies, Walking Dead, Christianity, Jesus, Satire, British, George Romero, Ruth, Gilbert, Frederic, Sullivan, Scott Miller, Gilbert Sullivan


A Potent, Little Metaphor

In the late 1980s, I wrote a musical called Attempting the Absurd, about a young man who has figured out he's only a character in a musical and doesn't actually exist, and that knowledge causes him lots of grief. Ultimately, he wins the day by producing the script for Attempting the Absurd. I recently published the script and vocal selections for the show on Amazon, and I described the show as "meta before meta was cool."But you know who did meta way before any of us? Gilbert and Sullivan.Their...
Tags: Amazon, Musicals, Australia, Theatre, Zombies, Walking Dead, Christianity, Broadway, Satire, British, Kevin Kline, George Romero, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Gilbert, Frederic, Romero


"This is the definition of art that has always most excited me: the feeling of being taken to the boundary of the universe, then beyond that boundary..."

"... into the surrounding darkness, and you’re the first person to ever be there. It’s not an experience that happens very often, but I’m willing to wait. I’ve never been someone who’s enjoyed music in general, or contemporary fiction in general, or films in general, or theater in general. I feel I’m standing on the runway waiting for the next big one to come in, carrying some of that outer darkness with it."Said the writer Mark Haddon, commenting on the liner notes to the Miles Davis album "Bit...
Tags: Art, Law, Chicago, Atlantic, Christianity, Jesus, Miles Davis, Griffin, Trump, Kathy Griffin, Lenny Bruce, Andy Kaufman, Mark Haddon, Ann Althouse, Emotional Politics, Ralph J Gleason


England’s cathedrals hark back to the middle ages to pull in crowds

Pilgrimages, pageants and a revival of the Mystery Plays aim to attract interest and precious fundsFor centuries they have been places of quiet reflection, highbrow music and greyish stone. But now cathedrals are transforming their genteel image with bright colour, noisy processions and drama, reviving long-abandoned practices from the middle ages and drawing in the crowds.Leading the pack in this medieval comeback is St Albans Cathedral in Hertfordshire which on Saturday attracted thousands to ...
Tags: England, Religion, Theatre, UK News, Culture, Britain, Christianity, Stage, Festivals, Anglicanism, Chester, Hertfordshire, St Albans Cathedral, Chester Cathedral


If there is no Hell, what is happening here?

Click to enlarge. That is a painting by a follower of Hieronymus Bosch from c1575, which I found — at the Wikipedia article "Harrowing of Hell"— because the Pope's statement that there is no Hell had me wondering about all the times Christians reciting the Apostles' Creed have said Jesus "descended into Hell":In Christian theology, the Harrowing of Hell (Latin: Descensus Christi ad Inferos, "the descent of Christ into hell") is the triumphant descent of Christ into Hell (or Hades) between the ti...
Tags: Art, Law, Wikipedia, Hell, Bible, Christianity, Catholic Church, Jesus, Christian, Creed, Pluto, Christ, Calvin, Jesus Christ, Peter, Martin Luther


China and Vatican turn to 'diplomacy of art' as rapprochement stalls

Each will send the other 40 works to go on display simultaneously from MarchThe Vatican is to send 40 works of art to China in a cultural exchange amid signs that attempts at rapprochement between the two powers are faltering.The Vatican museums, home to the Sistine chapel and countless other works of importance, and the China Culture Industrial Investment Fund (CCIIF) announced the exchange initiative in Rome this week. Simultaneous exhibitions will open in March in the Forbidden City in Beijin...
Tags: Art, Europe, China, Religion, World news, Rome, Culture, Beijing, Asia Pacific, Art and design, Museums, Catholicism, Italy, Christianity, Vatican, Forbidden City


China and Vatican to exchange artworks in bid to boost relations

Each will send the other 40 works to go on display simultaneously from MarchThe Vatican is to send 40 works of art to China in a cultural exchange amid signs that attempts at rapprochement between the two powers are faltering.The Vatican museums, home to the Sistine chapel and countless other works of importance, and the China Culture Industrial Investment Fund (CCIIF) announced the exchange initiative in Rome this week. Simultaneous exhibitions will open in March in the Forbidden City in Beijin...
Tags: Art, Europe, China, Religion, World news, Rome, Culture, Beijing, Asia Pacific, Art and design, Museums, Catholicism, Italy, Christianity, Vatican, Forbidden City


"The fly agaric is the quintessential mushroom of fairy tales."

"Its big, bright fruiting bodies scatter in great numbers across mossy forests of North America and Europe. They emerge from the soil first like white eggs, abandoned by some mysterious creature of the woods. They can grow up to a foot tall, as warts appear on the cap. The mushroom often blushes red in the process. Finally, they crack open and flatten into a polka-dot disc that would make a gnome’s perfect dinner plate...."Writes Joanna Klein in the NYT.The photos of the mushrooms are very cool,...
Tags: Art, Europe, Books, Law, Drugs, Blogging, Christianity, Jesus, North America, Mushrooms, Klein, University of Wisconsin La Crosse, Aesthetics, Ann Althouse, Lightweight Religion, Joanna Klein


"Perhaps the longer a violation persists, the greater the affront to those offended."

Wrote 4th Circuit Judge Stephanie D. Thacker, responding to dissenting Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory, who said that the fact that the 40-foot cross had gone unchallenged for 90 years is a reason to let it stay where it is, on a highway median in Prince George’s County.WaPo reports. The initial challenge in Maryland was brought by the American Humanist Association, a Washington-based group that represents atheists and others. The group did not dispute the monument is a memorial, but said in court ...
Tags: Art, Post, Texas, Maryland, Supreme Court, Law, Washington Post, Washington, Egypt, Sculpture, Editing, Christianity, Monuments, Joseph, Wynn, WaPo


Marrie Bot's best photograph: bath-time on an ancient pilgrimage through Andalucía

‘We were out on the trail for three days with no shops and nothing to eat. And all I had with me was my camera, 20 rolls of film and a T-shirt’ I’ve been taking photographs on the El Rocío pilgrimage for 40 years, and it’s still just as intense an experience as it was the first time. Each year, more than 100 brotherhoods travel to the hermitage at El Rocío from all over Andalucía. I had heard that the Brotherhood of Triana was famous for its richness and its beauty, so in 1976 I decided to trave...
Tags: Art, Photography, Religion, Spain, World news, Culture, Art and design, Catholicism, Christianity, Andalucia, Seville, Triana, Marrie Bot, El Rocío


"Art should challenge us...."/"Why is that?... Are we 'challenged' by Constable and Turner? The Chartres Cathedral? The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel?"/"Absolutely!"

From the comments to the post about the dismantled "Scaffold" at the Walker Art Center. The one in the middle is Michael. The first and third comments are from me. I'm the one who loudly proclaims "Absolutely!," even as Michael says:Where was this cliche [that art should challenge us] born? Marcel Duchamp?... This idea of art is a modern thing and a concept that has as its fruit an unlimited amount of crap produced for people paying up to be "challenged." A few notes and pictures:1. The Chartres...
Tags: Art, Law, Architecture, Christianity, Turner, Michael, Adam, Michelangelo, Schumacher, Sistine Chapel, Marcel Duchamp, Ann Althouse, Genitalia, Michael (the commenter, Turner Turner


Can art save us from fundamentalism?

London, rain, and Rothko—each was foreign to the missionary encampment on the Navajo reservation where Jakob grew up, in the 1980s. Back then, he seized every opportunity to share the gospel with his Native American friends, even as they played endless games of cowboys and Indians in the deserts of Arizona: “The Navajo kids always wanted to be the cowboys, because the cowboys always win, they said.” Into his early twenties, Jakob assumed that he would follow in the footsteps of his Pentecostal p...
Tags: Art, Books, London, Featured, Oregon, Religion, Theatre, Painting, University, Arizona, Christianity, Philosophy, Illinois, Barry, Evangelicals, Trinity College


Vandals target display of multifaith artworks at Gloucester Cathedral

Artist hits out at Islamophobia after exhibition on various religions sparks death threats and accusations of blasphemyControversial artworks on display at Gloucester Cathedral in an exhibition celebrating a spectrum of religious beliefs have been stolen and vandalised.The art show, Faith, put together by portrait artist Russell Haines, was at the centre of an international row last month when Christian groups heavily criticised the use of Islamic images and the reciting of a Muslim prayer insid...
Tags: Art, Religion, UK News, World news, Art and design, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Anglicanism, Buddhism, Islamophobia, Gloucester Cathedral, Russell Haines


Look closer at nativity paintings – and see visions of apocalypse

Christmas cards are full of cutesy depictions of nativity scenes, but Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli and Caravaggio remind us of the death in Jesus’s storyNativity scenes are the art we see at Christmas, often on cards that put a masterpiece on the mantelpiece. Baby it’s cold outside, so let’s warm our hearts with a bit of Piero della Francesca or Bruegel.Yet we close our eyes to the reality of this art. We turn Renaissance and baroque paintings into empty kitsch when we appropriate them as part ...
Tags: Art, Books, Religion, Christmas, Painting, Life and style, World news, Culture, Art and design, Christianity, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Jesus, Ts Eliot, Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Francesca


Faithful to that wistful longing

The last fruit of holy obedience is the simplicity of the trusting child, the simplicity of the children of God. It is the simplicity which lies beyond complexity. It is the naiveté which is the yonder side of sophistication. It is the beginning of spiritual maturity, which comes after the awkward age of religious busyness for the Kingdom of God—yet how many are caught, and arrested in development, within this adolescent development of the soul’s growth! The mark of this simplified life is radi...
Tags: Design, Christianity, Words


Church of England sponsors migration play at Edinburgh fringe

Still Here recalls real-life journey of Christian refugee in Calais camp who fled Eritrea after being persecuted for his faithThe Church of England is sponsoring a play at the Edinburgh festival fringe about the experiences of an Eritrean refugee in the Calais camp known as “the Jungle”.Still Here charts the nine-day journey of a man who fled Eritrea after being persecuted for his Christian faith, and his encounter in the camp with the play’s author, Rachel Partington, artistic director of Theat...
Tags: England, Scotland, Religion, Theatre, UK News, Culture, Christianity, Stage, Festivals, Refugees, Eritrea, Edinburgh, Anglicanism, Calais, Edinburgh Festival, Fringe theatre


Sock it to Satan: the barman behind profane puppet drama Hand to God

Robert Askins drew on his evangelical Texas upbringing to create a comedy about a teenager tormented by an evil puppet. As the play hits Britain, will he quit his day job mixing margaritas in a Tex-Mex restaurant?When the playwright Robert Askins was a kid in Cypress, Texas, his mother forced him into a Christian puppetry workshop. Askins and his peers assembled sock puppets and used them to tell Bible stories to younger children. The programme, part of what he calls the “pizza party-fication” o...
Tags: Comedy, Texas, London, Theatre, Life and style, Culture, Britain, Christianity, Stage, Broadway, Harry Potter, Bereavement, Jason, Puppetry, Dudley, Tony


Tudor stained glass portrait of young Henry VIII lovingly restored

The Vyne in Hampshire – a National Trust mansion – houses the window, which was concealed in a fish pond during civil warIn the spectacular Tudor stained glass windows now being re-installed at a National Trust mansion in Hampshire, a slim and beardless young Henry VIII kneels meekly in prayer near his beloved wife Catherine of Aragon and his sister Margaret. The artists who painted the beautiful little white dogs, symbols of fidelity, curled up sleeping near the two women, could never have imag...
Tags: Art, Religion, Life and style, UK News, Culture, Art and design, Heritage, Catholicism, Christianity, Monarchy, The National Trust, Craft, Hampshire, Easter, National Trust, Henry Viii


Michael Morpurgo and Quentin Blake: our Christmas story - in pictures

Dream team Michael Morpurgo and Quentin Blake have come together to tell their version of the nativity, about the boy left behind to tend the sheep as the older shepherds head for Bethlehem and it’s called On Angel Wings.An animated version of On Angel Wings is being broadcast on the BBC on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Continue reading...
Tags: Books, Design, Religion, Christmas, Bbc, Culture, Illustration, Animation, Christianity, Children and teenagers, Children's Books: 7 And Under, Children's Books: 8-12 Years, Michael Morpurgo, Quentin Blake, Bethlehem, Angel Wings



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