To say that Messiaen's Vingt Regards sur L'Enfant-Jesus (Twenty Contemplations on the Infant Jesus) is a masterpiece is a gross understatement. Over sixty years after its composition, it has rightfully earned the recognition of being one of the most important piano works of the 20th century. ... [It] is one of the most personal and intimate pieces Messiaen ever wrote, and it gives the listener a close look at Messiaen the person. Messiaen was a deeply religious person, and although his faith influenced every single piece he wrote, the Vingt Regards is almost like his own personal spiritual diary.
- Keith Kerchoff [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen
on Dec 13, 2012 -
In the late 1950s, psychologist Milton Rokeach was gripped by an eccentric plan. He gathered three psychiatric patients, each with the delusion that they were Jesus Christ, to live together for two years in Ypsilanti State Hospital to see if their beliefs would change.
Vaughan Bell tells the story
of one of the weirdest experiments in the history of psychology. (via
posted by The Mouthchew
on May 27, 2010 -
Welcome to the charming world of Vissarion
: the Siberian, vegan, reincarnation of Christ
, who also happens to be a Polygamist. When he lost his job as a traffic cop in 1991, Sergei Torop changed his name to Vissarion and began spreading his message about how to attain moral perfection, drive out negative energy, and survive the coming Apocalypse. Today the Community of Vassarion in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia numbers around 10,000, while a further 50,000 follow his teachings in the world beyond. [more inside]
posted by Secret Life of Gravy
on Oct 16, 2009 -
Jesus walked on the
So sayeth... um... well, this guy at Florida State. Doron Nof
has released a paper
positing that when Jesus walked on the water in Galilee, he was actually walking on a patch of floating ice. What's interesting about science like this to me is that it both validates and invalidates scripture, since if Jesus was walking on ice... no miracle (although, it's a miracle he didn't slip and fall, har har har). But if Jesus was walking on ice, then at least he historically existed, which is still an open question
at least in some quarters
. In case you think you recognize Mr. Nof's name, you may be remembering his work explaining that the parting of the Red Sea was totally possible
(flash video link).
posted by illovich
on Apr 5, 2006 -
Faith based prisons...
Can Gov. Jeb Bush's new drive to introduce God to the inmates make a difference, or was Jesus 'dying for our sins' not enough already? Is Jesus a solution or an excuse?
"Night has fallen. He has died now.
A fly crawls over the still flesh.
Of what use is it to me that this man suffered,
If I am suffering now?" - Jorge Luis Borges
posted by 0bvious
on Nov 25, 2005 -
Christian Video Games set to make comeback?
Tired of destroying the same old cliched monsters, day in day out? Want to engross yourself in a more morally sound, Religious video game experience? Well if the Christian gaming community has their way, we'll soon all be playing them (or at least a few % of gamers):
"As believers in Christ, we pray that God will be glorified through our work and that each of us draw nearer to him as we develop and grow as a business,"
the Christian game company says
posted by 0bvious
on May 24, 2005 -
"I felt like hurting someone before, now I feel like hugging people".
Only weeks after professing his belief in Jesus Christ, former Korn
guitarist Brian “Head” Welch
was baptized in the Jordan River
last Saturday. With “Jesus” tattooed across his knuckles and “Matthew 11:28
” along his neck, Welch received full immersion in the historic river
, along with 20 other white-robed Christians from a Bakersfield, CA church. Welch said the ritual baptism, “washed away his anger.” "My songs are God saying things to me, him talking to people. He's going to use me to heal people and people are going to be drawn to it, just watch, they will be.” For the latest information
(and a free mp3
) go to Welch's personal website, http://www.headtochrist
posted by matteo
on Mar 10, 2005 -
"I don't see how you can be president at least from my perspective, how you can be president, without a relationship with the Lord,"
said George W. Bush yesterday. (Really? I do.
) While giant crosses are banned from next Thursday's inauguration,
Jesus likely won't be,
despite Michael Newdow's protestations. By the way, the benediction is scheduled to be delivered
by The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell,
who also got the honor in 2001. Back then, he said
to millions of bowed heads gathered to mark the beginning of the Bush presidency: "We respectfully submit this humble prayer in the name that's above all other names, Jesus, the Christ. Let all who agree say, 'Amen.'" After gay rights, is discrimination against atheists the next great civil rights battle of our time?
Or should we just shut up and move to France?
posted by Saucy Intruder
on Jan 12, 2005 -
Born-again liberal Christians.
Do you think that mainline denominations are hemorraging members? Wrong. Fundamentalist Christianity is the way of the future and all US Evangelicals worship the same political party? Not so fast
, buddy. Many scholars
think that it's time for liberals to take Christianity back. Oregon State
's Marcus J Borg
, for example, argues that Christianity "still makes sense and is the most viable religious option for millions". He contends the earlier paradigm, based upon a punitive God
, simply doesn't work anymore for too many people.
It is an argument for an alternative to the literalist and exclusivist tradition
that has dominated Western Christianity in the modern era. According to Borg, "So different are these two views of Christianity that they almost produce two different religions, both using the same Bible and language
. A time of two paradigms is virtually a tale of two Christianities
There is, for example, an alternative view to the Resurrection Narrative not as report of an actual, physical event
but as means for Jesus' early followers to express the miracle of his continuing spiritual presence
among them, after his execution
. It is in short an 'emerging paradigm which has been developing for over a hundred years and has recently become a major grass-roots movement within mainline denominations'.
Just don't be afraid
to ask questions
. Not even about the dogs beneath the Cross
. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Nov 19, 2004 -
(Scroll All the way down). Vintage 21, a "community of God seekers, God followers, and God doubters" has made a series of excellent videos which take a satirical look of what Jesus is NOT like.
posted by superbird
on Oct 12, 2004 -
"How do we nurture the healing side of religion over the killing side? How do we protect the soul of democracy against bad theology in service of an imperial state?
OVER THE PAST few years, as the poor got poorer, the health care crisis worsened, wealth and media became more and more concentrated, and our political system was bought out from under us, prophetic Christianity lost its voice. The Religious Right drowned everyone else out. And they hijacked Jesus. The very Jesus who stood in Nazareth and proclaimed, 'The Lord has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor.' The very Jesus who told 5,000 hungry people that all of you will be fed, not just some of you. The very Jesus who challenged the religious orthodoxy of the day by feeding the hungry on the Sabbath, who offered kindness to the prostitute and hospitality to the outcast, who raised the status of women and treated even the tax collector like a child of God. The very Jesus who drove the money changers from the temple. This Jesus has been hijacked and turned into a guardian of privilege instead of a champion of the dispossessed. Hijacked, he was made over into a militarist, hedonist, and lobbyist, sent prowling the halls of Congress in Guccis, seeking tax breaks and loopholes for the powerful, costly new weapon systems that don't work, and punitive public policies."
Bill Moyers on democracy excruciate.
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on Jul 15, 2004 -
"Jesus?" he murmured, "Jesus -- of Nazareth?..." Pontius Pilate
, is the only historical figure named in
the Nicene Creed
-- Coptic saint
or eternally damned
, his role in the greatest story ever told
has been debated by many of history's greatest minds: St Augustine
, Dante Alighieri
, John Ruskin
, Mikhail Bulgakov
, Monty Python
. Unfortunately, there is very little historical evidence
about him. His role in the death
of a certain
healer and apocalyptic
preacher is still being debated today
and historians alike
. He is also, of course, the main character of The Procurator
, the classic short story (complete text in main link) by Anatole France
. (France's magnificent story has lately been tragically neglected by publishers, even if the author was one of his era's most acclaimed writers in the world -- he won the Nobel Prize in 1921 over Shaw, Yeats, Joyce, Thomas Hardy, D.H. Lawrence, and Proust, and when he died in 1924, hundreds of thousands of people followed his funeral procession
through Paris). These last 2,000 years of fascination with Pilatus
can be explained, some argue... (more inside, for those unwilling to wash their hands of this post)
posted by matteo
on Jun 24, 2004 -
Religious right fights "Dress-up Jesus" refrigerator magnets "...Urban Outfitters is offering a refrigerator magnet set depicting Jesus on the cross. A variety of clothes for "Jesus Dress Up" include a Satan mask and tights, ballerina, and dogcatcher outfit. The sign above the cross reads, "Hang in there baby!"....A variety of clothes for "Jesus Dress Up" include a Satan mask and tights, ballerina, and dogcatcher outfit....and a Dr. Seuss hat."
- So reads an Action Alert sent to the several million members of the Reverend Donald Wildmon's American Family Association
which urges concerned christians to bombard Urban Outfitters with letters
condemning the allegedly blasphemous magnets. But there is no need to even buy them when you can play "Dress up Jesus" online! - "Dress up Jesus by dragging the items to him with your mouse."
, reads the offending website. From the AFA's suggested letter text : "While you may think it is "cute," your decision shows a great disrespect toward people of faith everywhere."
- To say that I dislike the AFA would be to put it mildly, but are the refrigerator magnets indeed disrespectful ?
posted by troutfishing
on Mar 18, 2004 -
What Would Vissarion Do?
A former Russian traffic cop realizes that he is the reborn Son of God. Several devoted disciples agree, yea and verily. Insert own 'water into vodka' joke here. On second thought, please don't.
posted by Dirjy
on May 24, 2002 -
Speaking of religion causing nightmares,
these just don't feel 'right'. Maybe it's the idea of 'reinforcing' the idea that Jesus is your friend, in all activities. Last i checked, forced friendships don't work well. And sandals aren't conductive to track and field.
posted by jcterminal
on Mar 16, 2002 -
New! Jesus Sports Statues
. When you saw the Buddy Christ
idea in the movie Dogma
you thought it was a funny, yet biting swipe at the Catholic Church. But apparently Catholics think it's a great idea. These figurines have already sold out. Jesus playing tackle football
is my favorite.
posted by y6y6y6
on May 31, 2001 -
"Tired of praying and waiting for His second coming, a group of scientists aims to clone Jesus Christ
and fulfill the much awaited biblical prophecy." [via the PDI
posted by lia
on Mar 21, 2001 -
Strangest Story Ever Told - The Weird Legend of Jesus in Japan
Little known religious fact #2: Jesus didn't die up on his cross at Golgotha. That was actually his brother. Christ himself fled across Siberia and, after a brief detour through Alaska, landed in Japan, where he got married and raised a family.
Warning: some wacky religious notions will be mentioned in this article.
posted by lagado
on Jan 25, 2001 -