Henri Matisse was one of the great artists of the 20th century. What most people do not know, however–and what exhibitions and art critics tend to ignore–is that Matisse underwent a dramatic and life-changing conversion to Christianity. [Read more…]
Robin Williams was beloved, wealthy, and acclaimed, always laughing and making others laugh. And yet he took his own life. I don’t mean to moralize or philosophize over such a sad ending with reflections about what we think to be important might not be important at all, but suicides raise the big questions about life. The figure in art and literature of the crying clown is especially poignant. [Read more…]
When we think of the mind, we tend to think of the intellect, our ability to reason and understand. But the mind has many other facets: We experience our emotions in our minds. Another mental faculty is the will. There has been quite a lot of theological reflection on those three, but not so much on the mental faculty that we use far more than any of the others: the imagination. When we do think of the imagination, we mystify it by associating it with creativity and the arts. Those do issue from the imagination, but what the term really means is simply the ability to form mental pictures in our minds.
Anyway, I’ve just finished a book on the subject with Matthew Ristuccia, which will come out in November. I spoke about this in Canada, recently, at Concordia Edmonton. Mathew Block, communications director of the Lutheran Church Canada, interviewed me for the Canadian Lutheran. I thought I’d run a series of posts built around his questions, starting today. [Read more…]