Bits & Bobs

How the clock strikes at York Minster

Here are a number of things that have caught my attention recently, including some exciting happenings over at St. Andrews University across the Pond.

Theology and Theater
The Institute for Theology, Imagination, and the Arts at the University of St Andrews is pleased to announce Theatrical Theology: Conversations on Performing the Faith to be held in St Andrews, Scotland on 15-17 August, 2012. Inspired by Hans Urs von Balthasar’s seminal work in Theo-Drama, a growing number of scholars are recognizing the potential for serious inter-disciplinary exchange between Christian theology and practice and theatrical theory and practice. This conference will seek to demonstrate the fruitfulness for theology and theatre alike in pursuing this conversation, tracing some of the advances that have already been made and identifying challenges and opportunities as the interaction continues.

Main speakers include David Brown (St Andrews), Shannon Craigo-Snell (Louisville Seminary), David Cunningham (Hope College), Jim Fodor (Bonaventure), Timothy Gorringe (Exeter), Ivan Khovacs (Canterbury Christ Church), and George Pattison (Oxford).

For more information, including a Call for Papers and registration, please visit the conference website at

Art in the Church Workshop
[via Jim Watkins] At the beginning of June, Transpositions is hosting an online workshop on “Art in the Church.” Although we will invite some writers in particular, we would also like to extend an invitation to all of our readers to contribute to this symposium.

We are looking for examples of interesting, exciting and effective ways that art has been used in church. Did a particular piece of music work really well during your Easter service? Were you part of a drama that told the Christmas story in a new and unique way? Did your church recently install an exceptional piece of visual art? Is your church doing something with art that is so different that you aren’t even sure how to categorize it? Whatever it is, we would like to hear about....

For more info, please go here.

Domesticity and a wildly successful literary output rate
Here is a quote worth reading from the author of the novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, Gregory Maguire. You thought domesticity and creative output were mutually exclusive? Think again, my friend. It's all about boundaries, rhythms and rituals.

While I do some nonprofit work in literature education, and often have spoken at schools as a visiting author, most days I try to write at home. This involves packing the kids off to their preschools, whirling about the house in a tornado of activity, doing beds, dishes, laundry, and general domestic rehabilitation. When that is done—it usually takes an hour—I get several hours at my desk. The writing occurs on the computer or by hand in a notebook; sometimes, to get myself started, I go out for a walk or a cup of coffee at a local cafĂ© first.

When I have writer's block—which isn't often—a walk usually helps get things moving again, even if I don't feel that I'm thinking about anything pertinent while I walk. The reading of good poetry also helps that part of the mind that uses language to limber up, relax a bit—it's akin to shaking your sillies out, in the terms of that children's song. Working the kinks out, breaking your own bad habits of easy thinking.

Ok ... go!
I posted this Ok Go video on Facebook (courtesy of Thomas Cogdell) but it's worth reposting here. Simple, beautiful, elegant.

And here is a nice twist on beer and man's best friend (on recommendation from my blessed mother).

On the Anatomy of a Tear-Jerker...
... please go here for a WSJ piece on musician Adele.

And I can't stop laughing at this SNL skit.

And let's end this blog with a lovely bit from a 19th century Russian bishop, Theophan the Recluse:

“The principal thing is to stand before God with the intellect in the heart, and to go on standing before him day and night until the end of life.”


ceciliabrie said…
Oh, man, i wish i could go to that conference at St. Andrews! I hope they do something like that again. I'll be in VT with CIVA that weekend...
Brie, I imagine there will be a next time and I'm sure they'd love to have you in the mix.

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