Category: Art

The Biblical case for artful infrastructure

Infrastructure — the stuff all around us that we almost don’t see — is usually designed by engineers to solve a problem (traffic, sewage, transporting electricity) in a logical, reliable and cost-effective manner. Beauty isn’t usually part of the brief for infrastructure projects. Just look at the Piranesian hells otherwise known as interstate highways. But could infrastructure be beautiful?…  [more]

CSLewisDoodle: pitching a tent in YouTube culture

You’ve seen them before: the illustrated YouTube videos that condense TED Talks or leadership books into four-minute, hand-drawn illustrations. Now there’s a new voice (or rather old) on this scene: that of C. S. Lewis. CSLewisDoodle takes the Christian apologist’s essays and illustrates them with hand-sketched illustrations. Since its inception in 2012, the YouTube phenomenon has gained 12,600…  [more]

La Sagrada Familia and God as unhurried client

Barcelona’s grand cathedral, La Sagrada Familia, is finally nearing completion after 132 years of construction, and the very thing that is right about this points to much of what’s wrong about architecture and Western culture. The architect of this amazing structure, Antonio Gaudí, died in 1926 after being hit by a streetcar. Gaudi famously said of the seemingly endless construction process that…  [more]

Is Dismaland as distorted as Disneyland?

“Wish.” “Dream.” “Believe.” These words defined our obligatory family vacation to Disney World a few years ago, largely because they appeared on endless signage, were incorporated into nearly every show and, I suspect, were pumped into our hotel room via barely audible whispers as we slept. So to prove that the cult of Disney had not indoctrinated us, we began using these words as…  [more]

Parsing the Parallel Bible

“When the reader hears strong echoes of his or her own life and beliefs, he or she is apt to become more invested in the story.” That line, taken from Stephen King’s On Writing, is a timeless truth that applies equally well to nearly every form of storytelling. But it is also a potentially dangerous truth when applied to the story of the Bible, authored by God Himself. Such is the inherent struggle…  [more]

Instead of Facebook, a book of faces

A book of photographs titled Face elicits obvious comparisons to the social media giant. The latest from photographer Bruce Gilden, the collection of portraits might be more appropriately titled Mug Shot. If these folks filled your Facebook news feed with selfies, you’d probably be tempted to click the “hide” option. In a world overflowing with Photoshopped and filtered images, Face stops our…  [more]

Monasticism and the Googleplex

Nathan Heller had me at the title: “Google’s Monastic Vision for the Future of Work.” Heller’s New Yorker article breezily condenses a decade or so of Google’s corporate real estate travails into a jambalaya of metaphors, all while describing a design project for their new headquarters that looks like the latest version of the Biosphere. As the headline hints, Heller lands, finally, on…  [more]

Imagining prayer

It was early fall and the start of another academic semester when the accident occurred. A new student, testing his long-boarding skills on the mountainous roads that surrounded our college, had hit the pavement hard without the protection of a helmet. I had yet to meet the young man, but as the college chaplain I rushed to the hospital to join his family. Once inside I was ushered to an upper floor marked by an…  [more]

Beer, bread, chocolate - and Jesus?

I apologize in advance to those of you who don't live within driving distance of Chicago, because I'm about to literally whet your appetite for something you won't be able to attend. On Tuesday, April 7, I'll be sitting down with TC contributor John J. Thompson to discuss his new book, Jesus, Bread, and Chocolate; Crafting a Hand-Made Faith in a Mass Market World. The best part? We'll be doing it…  [more]

America’s most epic churches?

Editor’s note: After clicking on one of the photo links below, give your browser a few seconds and the corresponding image should load. In an Internet of endless clickbait, an article promising “Divine Photos of America’s Most Epic Churches” threatens to be just another BuzzFeed list of Worst Celebrity Facelifts, only more uplifting. But the piece, in Wired, features stunning photography by…  [more]

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