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Arts

Sacred icon exhibit opens in Unionville

{mosimage}UNIONVILLE, Ont. - Visitors to Unionville’s Varley Gallery will find a unique religious exhibit this summer. More than 150 sacred icons from mainly private collections will be on display until Sept. 1.

Clear answers in the moral chaos

{mosimage}Bioethics Matters: A Guide for Concerned Catholics, by Moira McQueen, (Novalis, 105 pages, softcover, $9.95).

Pope John Paul II accomplished many things as pontiff, but one of the most important for the long term is clarity — something Benedict XVI has also worked at to good effect.

New volume explores church's shameful past

{mosimage}Catholics and Slavery: A Compromising History by John Perry (Novalis, soft cover, 204 pages, $24.95).

We live in a world in which the human rights of a large majority are trampled daily. This world did not emerge from nothing, and Christians are part of this history.

Through much of its history the Catholic Church condoned, promoted, supported and engaged in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Jesuit John Perry’s account of this in Catholics and Slavery is comprehensive and unflinching. He believes the church was part of the problem in its complicity in slavery, but has remade itself as part of the solution.

New media hold opportunities for reaching Internet generation

{mosimage}In 1966 John Lennon got into a world of trouble by saying during an interview that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. He later clarified, correctly so, that his statement was taken out of context and that rather than implying that the Beatles were more important than Jesus, he was merely pointing out that rock and roll music at that time was probably more influential in the life of the typical teenager than was Jesus.

Christian radio host tells media not to 'tame' God

{mosimage}CAMBRIDGE, Ont. - More than 30 Christian journalists who gathered for the annual Canadian Church Press (CCP) convention this month received an earful about “life beyond the church walls.”

Into the future, darkly

{mosimage}Emerging from the Dark Age Ahead: The Future of the North American Church, by Charles Fensham (Novalis, softcover, 226 pages, $24.94 list).

If Donald Rumsfeld was good for anything, it was savage mockery of pessimistic liberals. “Henny Penny the sky is falling,” he once jeered to their flagellations. “Sometimes even liberals themselves tire of liberal negativity.”

The planetary secrets of C.S. Lewis

{mosimage}Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis by Michael Ward (Oxford University Press, 347 pages, hardcover, $31.95).

Planet Narnia is one of the most creative works of scholarship I have read since I fled the murky world of graduate studies in English literature. Michael Ward sets before us one of the great mysteries of C.S. Lewis studies, i.e. what is the underlying unity among the seven Narnia stories, and solves it. It’s the kind of thing that makes a rival PhD student throw her laptop across the room and take to drink. Ward has made a brilliant discovery.

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Today’s composers rarely write for liturgical reasons

{mosimage}TORONTO - Catholic composers today fall into two categories: those who write for liturgy, and those who don’t. James MacMillan, a world-renowned Scottish composer and conductor, spoke about this in a lecture on “The Catholic Composer Today” at the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto April 8.

Street Kings is self-delusional

{mosimage}A lot of very smart people in command of rare skills, incredible technology and huge amounts of money have once again made an absurd movie — a numbingly violent, cops-versus-the-social-ills-of-America fantasy that makes no sense and bears no relationship with real people or the real world.

Canadian composer arranges hymn for papal Mass

{mosimage}On April 20, New York’s famed Yankee Stadium will echo with a Canadian-arranged hymn quite unlike any baseball tunes.

“The Feast of Victory,” arranged by a composer from New Brunswick, will resonate during Communion for the concluding Mass of Pope Benedict XVI’s first papal visit to the United States.

Christ has implications in today's politics

{mosimage}Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw (Zondervan, 355 pages, softcover, $19.99).

If Christianity isn’t radical, isn’t subversive, isn’t dangerous and can’t get you into trouble it isn’t really following Christ. The established powers of Roman-occupied Palestine tortured and killed Jesus for a reason. It wasn’t because he was a safe, earnest, harmless reformer.

The progression of Orthodoxy

{mosimage}Encountering the Mystery: Perennial Values of the Orthodox Church by Patriarch Bartholomew I  (Doubleday, 254 pages, hardcover, $25).

Before reading Encountering the Mystery, I could not have told you the name of the patriarch of Constantinople, but still considered myself adequately informed about the history and practices of Orthodox Christianity. I understood the Orthodox Church to be truly ancient in both the commendable and the less welcome senses of the term — faithfully continuing the apostolic tradition in a way that has avoided innovation for many centuries.

Bella to open across Canada

{mosimage}TORONTO - Bella, a small movie that has been making big waves everywhere from the Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the 2007 People’s Choice Award, to church halls where it has been showing in recent months, is finally coming to commercial movie screens across Canada.