Essay / Art

St. Patrick Comics & Stories!

The cartoon adventures of St. Patrick, from a 1947 comic book called Treasure Chest of Fun & Fact. This four-page adventure by George F. Foley tells the saint’s story in a way designed to hold the interest of a young Roman Catholic audience in the

Essay / Art

Pictographic Catechism from the Andes

It’s not exactly a comic book, but there is an old catechism that certainly makes an interesting use of sequential images for the purposes of teaching Christian doctrine. The Huntington Free Library in the Bronx published a facsimile edition of a “pictographic Quechua catechism” that is

Essay / Art

Doing Theology with Monteverdi

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) was an Italian composer whose music, both secular and sacred, was influential in the transition from Renaissance forms of music to the Baroque period. He is well known for his use and development of two different styles of composition: Renaissance polyphony and

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A Statue You Can't See. Also, Upside Down.

What good is a statue nobody can see? In a courtyard in Cambridge, England (just beside the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences) is a pair of iron footprints. Over the last few summers, I’ve seen these footprints dozens of times. I’ve wondered what they were

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Summertime in England: It Ain't Why (It Just Is)

Probably just because I’m spending the summertime in England, I’ve been listening to Van Morrison’s song by that name lately. This is not the song I’d send somebody to if they wanted to understand what some people find so fascinating about Van Morrison; there are

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Stick Figure Theology: Annie Vallotton

Imagine being an artist commissioned to illustrate the entire Bible. From the epic stories to the pithy proverbs, from psalms of praise to prophets of doom, from the life of Jesus to his parables, you were supposed to produce pictures for everything. Now imagine that

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Tintin Top Ten

Now that there’s a blockbuster movie based on Tintin, the characters and situations from the classic comics will become even more famous. I don’t care very much about the movie; I only hope it (with any sequels) proves good enough to serve as an advertisement

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Thanks, Franky. Addicted to Mediocrity, Thirty Years Later

Does it make sense to thank someone for something they may have disowned? A lot has happened since Frank Schaeffer published Addicted to Mediocrity thirty years ago. He was going by the more diminutive “Franky” then, signifying, maybe, how staunchly he stood in his dad’s

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Tirso de Molina's Tragic Rake

Everyone has his or her notion of what constitutes a relaxing evening. For me, among other things, it is an occasional trip to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles to watch and experience an operatic performance. This weekend, neither time nor finances permitted such

Essay / Art

See This Sculpture? The Sculptor Didn't.

The caption under it says “Violin Player by Clara Crampton (The artist has been blind since birth.) You need not rely on the eyes alone.” It’s an illustration on page 7 of The Natural Way to Draw by Kimon Nicolaides (first published 1941). Nicolaides’ Natural

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Leo Steinberg Looked at Art

Leo Steinberg (1920-2011) died earlier this week (NYT obit), leaving behind a rich legacy of writing on art, both criticism and history. There are some great art historians out there, but it’s hard to imagine who can fill the void left by a Steinberg. Steinberg

Essay / Art

We'll "Figure Out" the Trinity, Get It?

This January I’ll be teaching an intensive class on the Trinity as part of Biola’s innovative IRIS program. It’ll be a three-week class that I’ll be co-teaching with nine other Biola profs, intentionally stirring together as many academic disciplines as we can fit into one