Mother and Son, Pieta, Frankfurt Dom (March 21)

Mother and Son, Pieta, Frankfurt Dom
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Frankfurt Dom (March 21)

Mono Q2
I know it’s not even in the same universe with Michelangelo. However, the Dom had a special exhibit for a few weeks, and this is the last piece one saw when leaving the exhibit. It really struck me, and I thought it beautiful, but mostly, powerfully moving. And unlike Micky’s pieta in Rome, one could get close to this pieta and even walk around. Pietas still strike me as a celebration many do not talk about: the death of God. Behold the unjust, unmerciful death of a beloved son in the prime of his life. The pieta represents this for me: here is a moment in history where the human (a woman) holds God in her arms–the dead God–the dead son. This is as much about mother and son as it is Mary and Jesus.

Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Groups

This last Thursday’s group meetings for Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice. We have 15 student teaching assistants leading 15 groups of King students. And in the last photo you see our lead teaching assistant, Sydney Bailey, meeting with our teaching assistants as we debrief after the groups. This last week’s theme was “How to Live the Good Life.” We study Hebrew wisdom literature (Job, Proverbs, etc) and think through if and how this ancient wisdom speaks to our lives today. Essentially, I am inviting the students to think creatively and feely about speaking beauty to the chaos of this world as God does in Genesis 1. Their assignment is to write at least a five-line poem that speaks beauty to chaos without denying or diminishing chaos, tragedy, suffering, oppression. When we deny the chaos we lose creation. Of course, this is opposed to most of American Christianity where devotees deny the chaos or use the baby Jesus as a magic wand to “remove” the chaos. Teaching this theme in this way is what we call 21st century teaching of the Christian Scriptures to 21st century students. Yes, it’s true, King Bible and Religion left the 1950’s awhile ago. If you want an idea of one our discussions, check out the video below on Theme 1: God Creates by Speaking Into the Chaos. The video was filmed in Palestine while on one of our digs.

Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Groups
Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Groups
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Groups
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Groups
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Groups
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

“Military Boots by Milan Kunc, Prague 1968

“Military Boots by Milan Kunc, Prague 1968
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Since we’re in Prague today (only in my mind), I want to post a “modern” work by the Czech painter, Milan Kunc. While I was there last summer, he (they) held an exhibition of his works. I’ve wanted to see his works for decades…and…there he was.

 
It was most interesting to see his work the same day I visited St. Agnes and their collection of Medieval (“religious”) art.
 
Here is a shot of one of his paintings I had no idea about. “Military Boots” 1968. I couldn’t help but immediately pull Heidegger and his interpretation of Van Gogh’s so-called “Peasant Shoes” into the picture. But we cannot miss the unspoken history in Kunc’s work–1968–Prague–Soviet domination–uprising against oppression–the crushing of revolution–the abolition of artistic freedom–military boots built to trample and dominate humans.
 
Oh, and back to Heidegger and his interpretation of “Peasant Boots.” One can easily see that Kunc is playing off Van Gogh for sure, but now, they are military boots. I do find it interesting that my mind went immediately to Heidegger and then to Van Gogh. Now that Heidegger’s reading has been fully discredited–why did (do) I do that? (Cf. Schapiro “The Still Life as a Personal Object” 1968)
 
“Military Boots,” Milan Kunc (1968)
 
Prague, Czech (June 21)
 
5D M3