Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Beauty of Justice

Beauty of Justice Schönheit der Gerechtigkeit
It is beautiful
to feed a starving child,
to dry her tears
to wipe his nose clean,
it is beautiful,
to heal a sick man.
Es ist schön
ein hungerndes Kind zu sättigen,
ihm die Tränen zu trocknen,
ihm die Nase zu putzen,
es ist schön,
einen Kranken zu heilen.
An aspect of aesthetics
which we have not yet discovered
is the beauty of justice.
About the beauty of the arts,
of a human being, of nature,
we can agree, more or less.
Ein Bereich der Ästhetik,
den wir noch nicht entdeckt haben,
ist die Schönheit der Gerechtigkeit.
Über die Schönheit der Künste,
eines Menschen, der Natur
können wir uns halbwegs einigen.
But: law and justice are also beautiful,
and they show their poetics
when they are being done.
Aber – Recht und Gerechtigkeit sind auch schön,
und die haben ihre Poesie,
wenn sie vollzogen werden.

Heinrich Böll, Rede zur Verleihung des Jens-Bjoerneboe-Preises des Odin-Teatret Holstebro an Rupert Neudeck am 23. Oktober 1984. In: Die Fähigkeit zu trauern: Schriften und Reden 1984-1985. München 1988, S. 15. (Source:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Messiah performed

Went to listen to the Academy of Ancient Music perform Händel's Messiah last night. Excellent stuff once you ignore the theatrics of some performers.

Contemporary CD culture is in some ways seriously detrimental to the nature of sacred music: if nothing else, that performance was a reminder that sacred music like the Messiah was written to be performed. It is only when you sit down for three hours and listen to it, from beginning to end, that the theological connections come across.

Excellent move to have the choir rise when the bass soloist sings 'the kings of the earth rise up and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord' - illustrating the link to the following chorus 'Let us break their bonds asunder' (Ps. 2).

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet

This is worth some theological reflection... so why don't you give it a try?

For starters: what difference does knowing something about the 'original context' make to 'understanding' how this video/music 'works'? What do the key concepts signify? etc.

Reference to this piece from Sarah Sax.