California Literary Review

Religion

Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries — Jewish Museum of New York

by

September 27th, 2012

To look at one of the treasures on display in this wonderful exhibit, the Kennicott Bible, is to view an example of the shared heritage of Jews, Christians and Muslims. This is the key note of Crossing Borders. The Kennicott Bible and the other stunning, hand-written works on display show the “cross-pollination” of art and ideas among the cultured elites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam during the Middle Ages. More to the point, it is a testament to the shared devotion of these three faiths to the same God.

True Blood Recap: Season 5 Raises The Stakes

by

August 28th, 2012

True Blood has tightened up considerably since the meandering adventures of Season 4, despite the fact that its protagonist is now a background character. Remember how the show used to be about vampires? That is happily the case once more.

EP Review: Angel Haze’s Reservation

by

July 20th, 2012

There are not an enormous number of 20-year-old, Native American, childhood-in-a-cult surviving, queer, female rapper/singers around currently. Given the cult stuff, you’d hope not. Angel Haze is, though and she’s about to be one of the biggest things in the world.

Book Review: The Poems of Jesus Christ Translated by Willis Barnstone

by

May 9th, 2012

As Barnstone notes in his introduction, Aramaic has verse forms that are difficult to render in Western languages like Greek, Latin and eventually English. The Gospels, the “Good News” of Jesus, were written down and shared with the rest of the world in prose, not poetry. A vital link to the actual words of Jesus was lost.

Blu-Ray/DVD Review: The Wicker Tree

by

April 24th, 2012

The rites themselves have changed in practice if not in spirit, and the movie rekindles enough of its ancestor’s spirit that it’s hard to imagine a better result. What more were all the naysayers expecting?

Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

by

April 17th, 2012

The Metropolitan Museum exhibition charts the fascinating, if complex, process of cultural transformation that took place throughout the Middle East during the seventh to ninth centuries. For all of the thrust-and-parry military campaigns that took place, a spirit of mutual accommodation often characterized relations between the Byzantine Empire and the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates that governed the Islamic world for much of the Middle Ages.

Broadway Review: Jesus Christ Superstar

by

April 5th, 2012

Today, with The Book of Mormon taking irreverence to new heights and shows like American Idiot cranking up the power chords, any production of Superstar will have to rely on the score’s intrinsic qualities in order to compete for the attention of younger theatergoers. The good news is that the show’s construction holds up well.

May Day! May Day! It’s Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Tree

by

December 14th, 2011

Early press for The Wicker Tree has not been overwhelmingly good, but one might say it has been encouragingly mixed. The original Wicker Man did not become known as “the Citizen Kane of horror films” overnight, or even during the horror boom of the 1970s. It vanished into relative obscurity for some time before its rediscovery, and look at that baby burn now!

Art Review: Transition to Christianity, Onassis Cultural Center, New York City

by

December 13th, 2011

After Christianity was recognized as the official state religion of the Roman Empire in 380, a number of Christian groups, notably monks in Egypt, changed roles from martyrs to persecutors. A magnificent head of Aphrodite, dating to first century Athens, bears the marks of Christian vandalism. The eyes and lips have been chipped to “blind” and “silence” the deity. A cross was then inscribed on the forehead of Aphrodite.

Courageous: A Closer Look

by

October 19th, 2011

Is Courageous great art? By almost any accepted measure, no. Is it meant to be great art? Presumably not. Will it speak to your heart? Perhaps, and perhaps not. Does it achieve its goals truthfully and without pretense? Positively. Does it promote goodness, responsibility, honesty, and truth? Absolutely. Is it then a successful work? I think an “Amen” is in order.

Why Buddha Would Go to Indie Rock Concerts

by

September 7th, 2011

  At my 17th birthday dinner at a place that played live music, the host sat me and my family behind a wall. We couldn’t see the band; we could barely hear the muffled tones and applause. I was not 18, and in Northern Virginia, this made it difficult to see any interesting music live. […]

In Case You Missed… Christopher Smith’s Black Death

by

June 29th, 2011

Most movies like Black Death exploit the historical context to take shots at organized religion with impunity. A select few try to balance the mistakes of the early church with the importance of faith over dogma – an approach that Season Of The Witch admittedly tried, but got lost too far up its own butt to realize. Black Death tends toward the latter type of story, but pushes its acid satire into fairly new territory.

Brighton Rock Rises Again. Graham Greene Abides.

by

December 20th, 2010

Acclaimed screenwriter Rowan Joffé will try his hand at the directing game next year. For his debut, he has selected an auspiciously high-profile story. Brighton Rock, adapted from Graham Greene’s 1938 novel, is a captivating crime thriller and a chilling exploration of the human capacity for love, betrayal and violence. If all goes right, this will be one beautiful and scary film.

Book Review: The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman

by

July 8th, 2010

The premise of Philip Pullman’s new book is brilliant. The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ offers us a version of the gospel narratives in which not one, but two boys were born to Mary. Jesus grew up to be a millenarian preacher, who prophesied the coming of the Kingdom of God, whilst his brother Christ skulked around in the background, recording and (more often) distorting his brother’s words for posterity.

Book Review: Myths from Mesopotamia by Stephanie Dalley

by

June 16th, 2010

I asked them why they, unannounced, wished to meet with the director and they told me that they had just discovered Noah’s ark in Turkey. As I had met a few others along the way conning people with this ark stuff I asked to see the proof. He immediately pulled out a black and white photo showing what looked like a rock cliff and asked, ‘What do you see?’ I looked at it closely and replied, ‘All I can see is that someone took a ballpoint pen and drew a photo of a ship on the rock face’. They replied, in that charming Tennessee accent, ‘Well, it’s a bit hard to see so we’all took a ball point pen and highlighted it for ‘y’all.’

Get The Latest California Literary Review Updates Delivered Free To Your Inbox!

Powered by FeedBlitz

Recent Comments