December 2000


December 2000

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this Issue
'The image of the unseen God'
The Editor

The Incarnation and the arts
W.Jardine Grisbrooke

We know more about God because the Word became flesh and that knowledge was conveyed to us through the artistry of the evangelists. But 'without the work of other artists we should have a gravely impaired understanding of that knowledge'. Bill Grisbrooke, formerly lecturer in liturgy at Queen's College, Birmingham, and at St Mary's College, Oscott, shows how essential the work of artists is in deepening our knowledge of God.

Gabriele Finaldi

In this secular age, why did so many thousands of people visit the recent exhibition on specifically Christian art at the National Gallery, London? Gabriele Finaldi, the curator of the exhibition 'Seeing Salvation', explains that, through the reactions of so manyvisitors and the depth of their appreciative comments, he formed the impression that 'after a long exile, the religious image had come home'.

Does music reveal God
Stephen Dean

Stephen Dean, who is adviser for music for the Diocese of East Anglia and director of the liturgical publishing company Decani Music, reflects on the power of music in our lives. It may not prove the existence of God, 'but, with the ears of becomes a revelation, a message'. He concludes by suggesting some music which can enhance the message of Advent and Christmas.

The poetry of God
Cornelia Cook

Can poetry help our understanding of God? Cornelia Cook, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Queen Mary College, University of London, considers how poetry has addressed God, expressed efforts to know God, and may bring about understanding through its very expression of human discomfort in belief.

Icon of the Nativity
Esther Pollak OSB

'Icons have been called gateways to heaven, doors of perception.' Esther Pollak, a Benedictine Sister of Turvey Abbey and a painter of icons herself, shows how they can bring us into closer communion with God. She uses here an icon of the Nativity to guide us on our path to the mystery of the Incarnation.

The prieshood of the organist
Ian Coleman

Can artists and musicians be said to be called to a form of priesthood? Ian Coleman, a musician and organist from north London, argues that the vexed question of the 'priesthood of all believers', by virtue of their baptism, can be extended in a special way to include a vocation of the liturgical musician which is genuinely priestly.

Preaching and teaching the Word
Margaret Fraser

Margaret Fraser, who is the Catholic chaplain at the University of Bristol and a member of the Committee of Theology of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, offers some reflections on the lectionary readings for the Sundays of December and for Christmas Day.

Gerard Mitchell SJ

Gerard Mitchell arrived as parish priest of Wimbledon's Sacred Heart parish in October 1998. A few months later a Millennium project was set up for the convenanting of time for service to the parish community and beyond. After nearly a year of implementing he briefly assesses the project and shows how it came about.

Preaching and teaching the Word
Paul Grogan

Paul Grogan is the parish priest of St John's Church, Buttershaw, Bradford, and chaplain of Yorkshire Martyrs Catholic College, Bradford. Here he offers reflections on the lectionary readings for the Sundays of January.

Talk back
J.D. Crichton

In response to the article 'Popular religion' by Eamon Duffy in June's issue, the distinguished liturgist Mgr J.D. Crichton writes the following extended letter.


Painting the Word. Christian pictures and their meanings
John Drury
Yale University Press, £16.95
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Festival Icons for the Christian Year
John Baggley
Mowbray, £17.95
Tablet Bookshop Price: £ Tel: 01420 592 974

A Kind of Bible: Vincent van Gogh as evangelist
Anton Wessels
SCM Press, £9.95
Tablet Bookshop Price: £ Tel: 01420 592 974