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Joseph Straus

It is available for pre-order now on Amazon and in stores January 15, After her diagnosis, my parents moved from Houston to Dallas and bought a beautiful home a few blocks away from my family. I was thrilled to have them closer, and for the first time in years, Mom and I spent so much more time together.

  • Through the Threshold - A Journey In Oneness;
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Whether we were sitting in carpool lines to pick up my kids or driving to Starbucks to order her favorite drink, an iced soy chai, we were inseparable. He carried it into the living room so she could eat it in her favorite chair. Dad and I ran into the living room to see what had happened. Mom had dropped her cereal, and the rim and one side of the bowl had broken into pieces.

The main part of the bowl, however, was still intact. She picked up several pieces of glass and put them back in the bowl, and then she scooped up another spoonful of raisin bran and brought it to her mouth. Still, he was patient and loving and regained his composure quickly. She looked up at him and back down at what she thought was a perfectly fine bowl of cereal and caved.

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Whenever she held a coffee cup, a drinking glass, or a bowl, it leaned sideways. We continually followed her around with a paper towel to clean up her spills.

Are you stirring up trouble and making messes again? She chuckled, then cleared her throat.


Broken Beauty | Wonderful windows - they don't make them lik… | Flickr

As she stood to help me clean up, I noticed a tiny piece of glass sticking out of her ring finger. Francis of Assisi, who opened the sensibilities of the Church to the glory and pain of creation. The legacy of Francis exercised a major influence on Giotto, Dante, Thomas Aquinas and successive generations of artists and thinkers who shaped the early Renaissance and staked out a new sense of contingency between heaven and earth.

Verdon, whose luminous analysis takes us into the modern era, is priest and theologian as well as art historian. In the structure of this book, he serves as a sort of Virgil, sweetly helping us pick our way through the casualties and casuistries that litter the passage of our late great millennium. It is not an easy passage, but for those willing to follow the arguments of A Broken Beauty , it provides some critical mapping of the terrain we have stumbled upon.

Prescott persuasively argues that their agenda must be understood in order to appreciate the current predicament of humanist art. He does not offer any easy prescriptions, and he is respectfully skeptical of conservative art historians such as Charles Jencks, who see in postmodernism a convenient rubric for neo-figurative trends. Though he sympathizes with many, he identifies with no single artistic camp or critical coterie. If anything, he belongs to the legacy of Erasmus, a Christian humanist who was respectful of the differing criteria that likeminded artists and thinkers tried to bring to the problems of that age.

It is not organized by manifesto, confession, or creed, nor is it attempting to stake out stylistic or ideological turf like a movement.

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Rather, it is pulled together by a desire to see the old Christian image of humanity, with its core concepts of both sin and joy, inform the artistic figuration of our time. Prescott first provides the disquieting contemporary context for the human figure in art and Verdon then provides a more comfortable set of bearings, beginning in the pellucid, idyllic landscape of the southern Renaissance.

Jacob Miller, Matt Naylor, Steven Stern - Slipping Away

Historian Lisa DeBoer examines Flemish, Dutch and German art, opening up a distinctively sympathetic sense of human individuality, typified by the comically tinged tableaux of Breughel the Elder and his successors. In this largely Protestant tradition, artists felt free to examine and celebrate human ironies and idiosyncrasies as evidences of creational diversity. But DeBoer then makes a jump that many readers will think peculiar: she suddenly skips to the present era, discusses the photorealist sculpture of Duane Hansen and asks why the modern mind finds it difficult to combine comedy and even farce with respectfully fashioned realism.

Many readers will be perplexed by the idiosyncratic perspectives that continue to unfurl.

An interview with Sarah B Smith, author of Broken Beauty

One soon gets the sense that there is mischief afoot, that Fuglie is indulging a revisionist agenda. He cheerfully cites critics such as Arthur Danto and Peter Schjeldahl, insofar as they might legitimize a neo-Christian esthetic of beauty and meaning. And this is one of the ironies of a revisionist agenda: even if it holds secret hopes of creating a new orthodoxy, in its early phases it is typically anarchic. This brings us to the difficult terrain where markets and motives intersect and diverge.