The Kunsthistorische Museum— the Christian Art

There is a lot of interesting things in the Kunsthistorische Museum in Vienna, not least its Christian art collection and substantial Greco-Roman and ANE holdings. This post will deal with the former of these.Certainly one of the most famous paintings in the museum of relevance to Biblical studies is the painting by Bruegel of the Tower of Babel. Bruegel had visited Rome in 1552-53 and studied that other major symbol of hubris (from a Christian viewpoint), the Roman colosseum which had … [Read more...]

The Ephesos Museum in Vienna— The Model

An important though relatively small part of the Kunsthistorische Museum in Vienna is the Ephesos wing of the museum. It has two main features.... statuary remains from the Greco-Roman period and friezes from that period, and a reconstructed temple front. In addition it has an excellent recreated layout of the Ephesos site, which frankly should be in the museum in Selcuk--- they need one this clear.We will begin with the model with is a 1 to 500 scale model, and work our way to the … [Read more...]

A Permanent Solution

Everything wears out, It all fades away, Even time passes Day by day.Nothing lasts, For very long, Your favorite food, Your favorite song.We grow weary, Tired of routine Let’s be honest, And just come clean.Our fear is evident That it will be true That we are not permanent Like all things new.We visit the graveyards Where our loved ones lie We wonder what it’s like To suddenly die.Is death another change Another temporary thing That happens in Fall And … [Read more...]

St. Gilgen— St. Giles

There is a little village in the shadow of the mountains by the Wolfgangsee (lake really), which is the birth place of Mozart's mom. It's name is St. Gilgen, which is the equivalent of St. Giles, a rather odd name for an Austrian town. Mozart actually never visited the city, though the tourist rhetoric associates him with the town, to get tourists to come. It is worth a visit all by itself anyway, as it is beautiful, rather like a little Swiss chalet village, as you will now see. Here are … [Read more...]

Gas Station/Gast Haus

Ever been to a truck stop? Ever sampled the food there. Well let me tell you, the truck stops on the interstate in Austria are a horse of a different color. Yes, you can get gas there, of both sorts. Admittedly, the old gasthaus gang was a little rustic.Well, they don't look that way any more. Not at Landzeit toll road plazas! And as for the food they serve... it's all top drawer, as the British would say.... and then there are the fruits and desserts........unlikely anything a truck … [Read more...]

Aha! Praha– The Prague Report—Part Seven

Praha is a city of large squares, open boulevards, narrow winding streets, and decorated clock towers, guild halls, and generally fascinating architectural styles of many different period. First, lets look at some views from one of the hills on the new town side of the river looking towards both the old city walls, and the new car and train tressel.The cars run on top of that bridge, the trains under the under hang.Here we see a unique twin steepled more modern church on the new side … [Read more...]

Aha! Praha– The Prague Report– Part Six

Let's face it, towering old cathedrals are not likely to be a fave rave of children, so just behind the cathedral was a little aviary of sorts. Here are some of the birds we saw....If you are wondering why this snowy owl has his eyes so wide open in the middle of day, notice the beverage behind him they've been giving him to drink!If you think that exhibit is for the birds, then there are alternatives up here on top of Prague's castle hill. For example, you can dress up like … [Read more...]

What Should We Think about Suicide?

The recent case of Britanny Maynard and her move to Oregon in order to commit physician assisted (or at least physician plus drugs assisted) suicide, has reopened the debate about what we should think about suicide in general, and doctors willing to violate their Hippocratic oath to assist others in committing suicide. I am not here concerned with the debate in the larger culture, but rather would want to talk about whether Christians should, under any circumstances, be in favor of such a … [Read more...]

Aha! Praha– The Prague Report Part Five

Near St. Martins, and also in the Vysehrad district of Prague is the cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul. It dates to the 11th century, but what you see now is mostly 19th century. It is one of the more beautiful churches in Prague, as you will now see,Notice the stained glass window with the picture of the sudarium cloth, the cloth with the image of the bloody head of Jesus thought to be the facial cloth found in the tomb in Jerusalem and brought back to Europe by a crusader and … [Read more...]