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Saturday, September 11, 2004

[5.1] MUSICALS A BRIDGE TO BELIEF?

From The Guardian newspaper - a report and comment on a new SCM Press book by Ian Bradley, Reader in Practical Theology at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

"Churches have a great deal to learn from modern musicals and could usefully incorporate in their services the spiritual themes and the pastoral care they offer their audiences, a new book argues.

"Ian Bradley argues in the book 'You've Got to Have a Dream', to be published next month [October 2004], that musicals like 'Les Misérables' and 'The Rocky Horror Show', not to mention more likely candidates such as 'The Sound of Music' and 'Jesus Christ Superstar', now form a more common means for people to gain their philosophy of life and spiritual and theological perspectives than attending church.

"The book argues: 'One of the main reasons why musicals connect so powerfully with so many people is that they appeal to all the senses and offer a total, rather than just a one-dimensional, experience. They gain their impact through being performed. The same is surely true of religion.'
"Mr Bradley points out that musicals as a theatrical form have northern European and Jewish roots rather than stemming from the light operettas of Catholic southern Europe." More.

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Friday, September 10, 2004

[4.1] FAITH AND POPULAR CULTURE EXPLORED

Several people have recommended 'Eyes Wide Open: Looking for God in Popular Culture' by William D. Romanowski. Publisher: Brazos Press (April 1, 2001). ISBN: 1587430096

From Amazon.com: "Romanowski writes for the millions of "Christians who drink beer" those who, in tension with evangelical mores, partake of the fruits of popular culture... His scope is ambitious, including a theologically informed chapter on the nature of culture itself, to treatment of sex, violence and materialism, to a thoughtful exposition of the story structure of the typical Hollywood film.

"Grounded in Christian principles, this accessible and engaging book offers an informed and fascinating approach to popular culture. William Romanowski provides affectionate yet astute analysis of familiar, well-loved movies and television characters from 'Pretty Woman' to Homer Simpson. He speaks with expertise on films from 'Titanic' to 'Casablanca' and music from Mozart to Springsteen, bringing sources as diverse as Shakespeare and Allan Bloom into the discussion.

"Romanowski's confessional approach affirms a role for popular culture in faithful living. Practical, analytical approaches to content, meaning, and artistic style offer the tools to participate responsibly and imaginatively in popular cultural activities. A quick and enjoyable read... "

Sample pages here.

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Monday, September 06, 2004

[3.2] OUR SITE FEED

The MTAG blog now has a site feed to enable it to be syndicated across the web and throughout the blogosphere: http://inter-mission.blogspot.com/atom.xml. From the middle of September 2004 onwards, when we will be in Belfast for a major writing session, we will be adding new material to this site and catching you up on our plans and activities.

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[3.1] 2004 FUTURE CHURCH CONFERENCE

20-21 October 2004
High Leigh Conference Centre
Hoddesdon Herts EN11 8SG, UK

THEME: "Sharing Christian Faith & Values in a Post-Christendom Context"
with Dr Stuart Murray-Williams
Conference Accompanier: Dr Helen Cameron

* How do we share Christian faith in a post-Christian climate?
* How do we share faith respectfully and with integrity?
* How do we share faith with people of different and no faith?

The Conference is inter-active with speakers, accompanier reflections, question time and some buzz groups. An inter-generational, multi-cultural approach with British and Irish input.

Further details here. Book early!

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