Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Can Christians celebrate Diwali?

Please Note: All posts on this blog are intended for informational purposes only, not as an evaluation or endorsement of any artist, art form, organization or website.  If you have concerns about the accuracy of any information presented please contact the author at hmsarthistorian@gmail.com.


Here's some food for thought regarding the Hindu holiday Diwali, which is celebrated this year on October 24: the Morman-owned news organization Deseret News asks: "Can Christians celebrate Diwali?"  It describes various opinions regarding an altered, Christocentric version based loosely on some of the holiday's major themes (light vs. darkness, etc.).  I'm not taking a position on this article, just offering it as something to generate thoughts and discussions.

You can see my previous posts about contextualizing aspects of Diwali here and here.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Jesus Question: Is giving Christ African features heretical, or at the very least neglectful?

Please Note: All posts on this blog are intended for informational purposes only, not as an evaluation or endorsement of any artist, art form, organization or website.  If you have concerns about the accuracy of any information presented please contact the author at hmsarthistorian@gmail.com.



Please head over to The Jesus Question for the introductory post on a book called African Theology in Images by Martin Ott, a 600-page exploration of the African Christian art that has come out of the KuNgoni Art Craft Centre in Mua, Malawi. This is the first of several posts that blogger Victoria Emily Jones plans to write about this important book. If you're interested at all in African art, Christianity, and contextualization, then please follow the rest of her thought-provoking posts about this book. And the rest of her blog is great as well!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Angelo da Fonseca: Portrait of an Eclectic Genius

Please Note: All posts on this blog are intended for informational purposes only, not as an evaluation or endorsement of any artist, art form, organization or website.  If you have concerns about the accuracy of any information presented please contact the author at
hmsarthistorian@gmail.com.




Vivek Menezes reviews an article by Rupert Arrowsmith in the current issue of Art India magazine about the legacy of one of India's greatest Christian artists, Angelo da Fonseca.  Unfortunately, Arrowsmith's article is only available by subscription.

Menezes writes:

Until his death in 1967, [da Fonseca] painstakingly created a magnificent oeuvre of uniquely cross-cultural paintings that are among the most remarkable contributions to 20th century art from any painter, anywhere in the world. 
But until 2014, the artist's reputation never caught up to his achievement. As Arrowsmith notes in 'Portrait of an Eclectic Genius', "it is very telling that Angelo da Fonseca...has needed to wait until this year for his first ever inclusion in a survey of the Indian 20th century icons."

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Steve Taylor's Pukehinahina Cross Call to Worship

Please Note: All posts on this blog are intended for informational purposes only, not as an evaluation or endorsement of any artist, art form, organization or website.  If you have concerns about the accuracy of any information presented please contact the author at hmsarthistorian@gmail.com.

I found this 2012 Pukehinahina Cross Call to Worship posted at sustain:if:able kiwi, the blog of Steve Taylor.  He is currently the Principal of Uniting College for Leadership and Theology in South Australia and the author of The Out of Bounds Church? Learning to Create a Community of Faith in a Culture of Change.  He also writes monthly film reviews for Touchstone and has blogged regularly since 2002.

The following are his posts from June 13, 2012 and June 20, 2012:


June 13, 2012
a contextual visual for mission 2
Other visual theologies of mission here and here.


Pukehinahina Cross, St Georges Anglican Church,
Gate Pa, New Zealand. Used with permission.

Carved by James Tapiata for St Georges Anglican Church at Gate Pa. Used by permission. Not to be used in any form without permission from St Georges.

The greenstone Maori fish hook is entwined around the cross, to remember Christ’s mission as a fisher of people and to show the ties between two people – Maori and Pakeha. Greenstone is of immense importance in Maori culture, both spiritually and historically. Although not stated on the church website, the fish hook is likely to reference “Hei-Matau”, a common Maori carving pattern, in which fishing was simply a way of gathering food. In this context, it would symbolise prosperity, determination, leadership and good health, as well as safe journey over water.


June 20, 2012
Finding words for worship

I’ve been asked to provide a call to worship at the Church Synod on Friday evening. My general rule of thumb is to work with what’s engaging me. Last week I posted this,


Pukehinahina Cross, St Georges Anglican Church,
Gate Pa, New Zealand. Used with permission.

Which, with a bit of research, over the weekend I have shaped into the following Call to worship -

Leader: The cross,
offering reconciliation, making enemies friends,
All: May we, reconciled and reconciling, feel again Your call to mercy

Leader: The greenstone,
an item of treasure and value in Maori culture
All: May we, Your treasures in earthen clay, hear afresh Your call to value each other

Leader: The fishhook, carved in reference to Jesus invitation,
Come follow me: I will make you fishers of people
All: May we, Your fisher folk, experience anew Your call to mission

Leader: The fishhook, a pattern commonly carved in Maori culture
a symbol for a journey, speaking of the need for shared courage, wise leadership and safety in troubled times
All: May we, Your pilgrim people, find together new courage, wise leadership and surprising joy,

Leader: In our shared journey, Shaped always by this cross of Christ. Amen

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Beatus: The Spanish Apocalypse

Please Note: All posts on this blog are intended for informational purposes only, not as an evaluation or endorsement of any artist, art form, organization or website.  If you have concerns about the accuracy of any information presented please contact the author at hmsarthistorian@gmail.com.

If you're going to be in the NYC area on October 15, 2014, you might enjoy attending this documentary film screening at The Morgan Library & Museum.  I know very little about the subject matter but it definitely qualifies as an indigenous/celtic/etc. form of visual art.  For more info click here.

Beatus: The Spanish Apocalypse

(2014, 85 minutes)
Director: Murray Grigor


In about 776 the Spanish monk Beatus compiled his commentary on the Apocalypse in order to prepare his fellow monks for the end of time. In this world premiere screening, scholar John Williams examines the Beatus tradition, preserved in illustrated examples dating from the tenth to the thirteenth centuries. Their brilliant and provocative illustrations resonate to this day, and will be featured in the film, as will the monasteries that created them. Presented by MUSE Film and Television; Hamid Shams, Director of Photography; music by Rory Boyle. The Morgan's Beatus manuscripts will be on view.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Christian Altar Cross from the Solomon Islands

Please Note: All posts on this blog are intended for informational purposes only, not as an evaluation or endorsement of any artist, art form, organization or website.  If you have concerns about the accuracy of any information presented please contact the author at hmsarthistorian@gmail.com.

Rare Christian Altar Cross Inlaid with Pearl Shell
Solomon Islands, circa 1900. 62cm x 33cm x 19.5cm


Monday, September 8, 2014

Don Richardson To Speak Near Asheville, NC

Please Note: All posts on this blog are intended for informational purposes only, not as an evaluation or endorsement of any artist, art form, organization or website.  If you have concerns about the accuracy of any information presented please contact the author at hmsarthistorian@gmail.com.

Author, former missionary, and contextualizer Don Richardson will be speaking at a 10:00am breakfast on September 22nd at Asheville Christian Academy, near Asheville, NC.

Richardson will share his personal experience as a missionary in Papua New Guinea.  He will also share from his many years of missions development work including the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course.

He is the author of Eternity in Their Hearts and other books. All of Richardson's books focus on what he calls his "redemptive analogy" thesis: the idea that each culture has some story, ritual, or tradition that can be used to illustrate and apply the Christian gospel message.

Don and his wife Carol served for 15 years among the Sawi, a Stone Age tribe of cannibal-headhunters who valued treachery as an ideal. Don designed an alphabet suited to their language, authored 19 primers, taught the tribesmen to read in their native tongue and translated the New Testament into Sawi. More than half of the Sawi came to Christ!

To sign up for the breakfast, click here.