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Archive for February 2011

Elizabeth Lev traces the de-Christianization of sacred art since the Renaissance and explains why artists like Michelangelo and Caravaggio should be seen in a Christian rather than secular context. Read Professor Lev's essay in the March 7 issue of America.

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M. Cathleen Kaveny lists the many ways in which the Catholic Church is a feminist church, while also raising questions about "complementarity" and other ways in which the church has sought to define women's particular gifts. Speaking of the "new feminism," she encourages young scholars to engage the work of their predecessors, and to be careful not to replicate the mistakes of the earliest generation of feminists by focusing solely on one or two issues. Read "Defining Feminism," Professor Kaveny's article for America, and her remarks at the "Contending Modernities" conference, sponsored by the University of Notre Dame.

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In the small Latin American country of Uruguay, the literacy rate is 97 percent and the Catholic Church is much less influential than in neighboring countries. Retired Bishop Luis Del Castillo talks with Kerry Weber about the unique challenges and opportunities presented by these circumstances. Read Fr. George Anderson's short profile of Bishop Del Castillo.

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Is "The King's Speech" worthy of the accolades it has received, or is just a glorified episode of Masterpiece Theatre? Why is Danny Doyle, director of "127 Hours," so fascinated with body fluids? What to make of that Dante-esque scene of impending doom in "Toy Story 3"? For the fourth year in a row, Tim Reidy is joined by Fr. Jim Martin (America's culture editor) and Bill McGarvey (formerly of Bustedhalo.com) in a discussion of this year's nominees for Best Picture. Read America's film reviewers dissect the Best Picture nominees here.

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Veteran broadcaster William F. Baker talks about his long career at WNET, the flagship public television station in New York, and how his Catholic identity nourished him in his work. Baker looks back on  "Great Performances," "Religion & Ethics Newsweekly" and two films he helped to produce on the lives of Jesus and Mary. Drawing on his relationship with Cardinal John J. O'Connor, he also offers some lessons for the church on how to deal with the secular media.

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