Thursday, October 11, 2007

Islam Today

Last year Pope Benedict VI gave an intellectual speech with a provocative challenge that Muslims ought to denounce violence done in the name of their religion. In it he recalled a dialog between a Christian and a Muslum from around 1400 that had some strong language!

The immediate and NONintellectual reaction to the speech was to create a few new Christian martyrs and generally burn and smash things.

OK. One sector of Islam heard from. Is there another?

Where are the peaceful multitudes of the "religion of peace"? Probably terrified of sector one! But were are the intellectual leaders? Perhaps we have finally heard from them...

"In an unprecedented open letter signed by 138 leading Muslim scholars from every sect of Islam, the Muslims plead with Christian leaders "to come together with us on the common essentials of our two religions."

I have been praying for the impossible... the conversion of all Muslims. Maybe it is only my foolish hope - but I do hope that this is the beginning of a better world.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Rich and Beautiful Book of Hours

Pictures are great! Love 'em. So these little snippets I have seen over the years from Belles Heures and Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry have always caught my attention. Their bright colors and medieval castles together with the agriculture scenes have always felt to me like a canvas of jewels. I am not sure who this Duc fella is* but I thank him for his commissions!

This site has not only a lot of the wonderful pictures from this book of hours but also some descriptions of the content of the illuminations. I often find myself wondering about details in paintings and symbolism - what the art books usually tell me is details about the size of the paintings, where it hangs, and maybe a thing or two about the brushstrokes. This is what I prefer.


*note: Thanks to the Internet I have also found out a little more about the Duc. Not the greatest guy - but he sure left us a lot of good art.