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Articles tagged with: general

Tucson and Port-au-Prince: thinking about words, images, and violence
January 13, 2011 – 9:26 pm | One Comment
Tucson and Port-au-Prince: thinking about words, images, and violence

WILL WE? (Photo credit: Jim Wilson/The New York Times) A stunningly violent shooting in Tucson, Arizona, and we are talking again about violence and violent images. And the war of words has begun. I have to confess that I am frequently bewildered by the violent use of violent metaphors in our public speaking

Classic 99 is online and expanding
January 6, 2011 – 3:51 pm | One Comment
Classic 99 is online and expanding

As it happens, when Classic 99 went off the air in July 2010, it never died. Classic99.com continues to live stream its vast catalog of classical and sacred music online, just as it did when it broadcast on the FM dial. Matter of fact, I’m listening to it as I write this post, and I’m even hearing the familiar voices of former KFUO-FM announcers, now volunteers for the Internet station. And The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod has announced that the Synod’s Board of Directors voted to provide an additional $193,000 through at least mid-2012 “not only to continue but to improve the way it provides quality classical and sacred music to listeners via the Internet.” And, evidently, both the online station and its listener base are expanding.

Macy’s, Handel’s Messiah, and a random act of hyperspace
December 13, 2010 – 7:57 pm | No Comment

By now, it has been making the email and Facebook rounds many times over: The Opera Company of Philadelphia hides in the Center City Philadephia Macy’s on Saturday, October 30, and during the height of the busy shopping day breaks into an “impromptu” performance of the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s “Messiah.” It was a “Random Act of Culture,” funded by the Knight Foundation as a campaign to bring “classical artists out of the performance halls, into the streets – and our everyday lives.” The only reason we know about it—and have “seen” it—is because it was posted on YouTube. And in the weeks since it has gone, as they say, viral. Three years ago, I wrote in a more academic venue about the experience of Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular as an experience of cultural “transgression.” It seems that a similar…

Why you’re more likely to find the next revolution in a church pew than on Twitter
November 30, 2010 – 10:19 pm | 2 Comments
Why you’re more likely to find the next revolution in a church pew than on Twitter

I spent some of my Thanksgiving holiday catching up on the stack of magazines that had piled up, mostly issues of The New Yorker and Entertainment Weekly (got to keep an eye on the high and low brows). Perhaps the most thought-provoking read I have come across lately is by The New Yorker ’s Malcolm Gladwell , of Blink and Outlier fame, in his New Yorker article “Small Change” on why social media like Twitter and Facebook will not (despite popular opinion) lead to great movements for social change. His reasoning is based on a sociological distinction between “weak-tie” and “strong-tie” activism.

Starbucks Coffee and the meaning of ritual
November 9, 2010 – 11:38 pm | No Comment
Starbucks Coffee and the meaning of ritual

I gave up my Starbucks addiction a long time ago. (In a previous life, the Webster/Old Orchard Starbucks was a near-daily stop on my way to work until I realized that it was part of the reason I gained 25 pounds and lost most of the cash in my wallet.) But I couldn’t help seeing Starbucks’ still new ad campaign while I was recently in the airport. “Take Comfort in Rituals.” Does it bring to mind visions of a hot cup of chai?

“Major reorganization” of Interfaith Partnership and the state of religious nonprofits
October 15, 2010 – 10:48 pm | No Comment
“Major reorganization” of Interfaith Partnership and the state of religious nonprofits

From the 2009 Interfaith Partnership Annual Dinner. Photo credit: www.interfaithstl.org.

Strange coincidence? Obama talks about his faith & religious illiteracy in America
October 7, 2010 – 5:52 pm | 2 Comments

So, on the same day last week, President Obama stood in a backyard in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and gave a lengthy answer to the question “Why are you a Christian?” while the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released the findings to its survey on Americans’ basic religious knowledge . The survey has already been discussed here and in many other places, but I’ll only point out that virtually all Americans basically flunked the test.

New “Bach at the Sem” season opens this Sunday, Oct 10
October 7, 2010 – 3:42 pm | No Comment
New “Bach at the Sem” season opens this Sunday, Oct 10

The first Bach at the Sem concert of the season will take place this Sunday, October 10, at 3:00 p.m. in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus on the Concordia Seminary campus

Bible is focus of Concordia Seminary’s upcoming symposium
September 16, 2010 – 10:03 pm | No Comment
Bible is focus of Concordia Seminary’s upcoming symposium

Stephen Fowl “Scripture in the Church: Formative or Formality?” is the title of the 21st annual Theological Symposium, to be held Sept. 21-22 on the campus of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

Christwire: “The Onion” for Christians?
September 10, 2010 – 8:10 pm | One Comment
Christwire: “The Onion” for Christians?

Christwire.org has become a popular Web site for news and reporting with an ultraconservative Christian slant. And it’s all one big joke. I have to confess I was completely unaware of Christwire until I ran across the New York Times article that outed the identities of Christwire’s founders, Bryan Butvidas and Kirwin Watson