Arts

  • Calling And Caravaggio

    Today Father Raymond J. de Souza revisits the light and beauty of Caravaggio's timeless work ‘The Calling of St. Matthew’ and the truth it continues to communicate to viewers in this day and age. 

    ROME – I think it was 15 years ago that I was last in Rome on the feast day of St. Matthew. (According to the Catholic liturgical calendar, September 21.) It’s been a while since I could do what I always did during my student days in Rome on St. Matthew’s f...

    Read more...

  • Calgary’s Coyote Ugly Art

    Father Raymond J. de Souza delivers a thoughtful essay on the purpose and patronage of public art.

    Calgary – Early this month a new public art installation went up in Calgary, over by the road works on the TransCanada Highway near Canada Olympic Park. It’s called Bowfort Towers, and my first thought upon seeing it was that it was part of the jumble of me...

    Read more...

  • Start the Revolution Without Me

    Montreal's Museum of Fine Arts features a summer exhibition, Revolution, paying tribute to the 1960s. Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland drops by and finds the only thing missing is the whole truth about that often dangerously demented decade. Did they forget how to spell Charlie Manson's name?

    “And all the lousy little poets coming ‘round/tryin’ to sound like Charlie Manson/see the white man dancin’….” Leonard Cohen The Future

    Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts is a major institution in Canada’s only real city, which is w...

    Read more...

  • Dawn

    Photographer Linda Couture reveals the beauty of dawn in its promise of new beginning and the surprise of colour that awaits all those willing to seek it. 

    Dawn is always a spectacle of colors and surprises for one’s eyes. It gives time to think of the day that seems to be holding still yet is already beginning to pass; of the people we will meet that we know and love – or that we’ve never met before; of the m...

    Read more...

  • Moments of Beauty Break In

    In literature and in physical creation, author Carolyn Weber tells Convivium’s Hannah Marazzi, are instants when the bird before our eyes becomes the miracle that God delights in making normal.

    Convivium: In 2001 you published Surprised by Oxford, an autobiographical retelling of your journey to faith. How did you decide to publish your story?

    Carolyn Weber: I never anticipated writing a memoir in ...

    Read more...

  • Art and the Divine

    This weekend our Convivium team is hosting artist Juss Rani Kaur, transforming our office into a showcase for her “Reflective Mantra Art Series" as part of Sikh Heritage Month. Publisher Peter Stockland reports on Kaur's story and her connection to the Divine. 

    As part of a think tank dedicated to renewing North American social architecture, the Ottawa office of Cardus is not everyone’s idea of a show place for religious art.

    But then as a mother of three adult children, teacher, Oxford PhD, and volunteer l...

    Read more...

  • The Political Tragedy of Scorsese’s Silence

    Did you see the film Silence? Toronto-based writer Gavin C. Miller gives Convivium readers a review and seeks to debunk wide spread misconceptions that may be held about the film. 

    Martin Scorsese’s recent movie Silence, based on the Shusaku Endo novel, remains topical as it moves into Netflix land. Frankly, I was reluctant to even see it in the theatre. While there are a few shining counter-examples, most movies about religi...

    Read more...

  • Marilynne Robinson’s Metaphysical Inklings

    Reporter Sarah Grochowski reports from the University of British Columbia, as Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson delivered spoken essays as part of the 2017 Laing Lectures hosted by Regent College’s graduate school of theology.

    Through writer Marilynne Robinson’s voice in Vancouver last week, a lecture series founded from one father’s love of ideas became a meditation on God the Father’s love.

    For three days at the University of British Columbia, the Pulitzer Prize winning ...

    Read more...

  • Launching Questions

    Editor in Chief Father Raymond J de Souza reflects on the launch of Convivium as an online publication and examines the matter of multiple answers, and questions.

    When we planned our launch for the new digital Convivium at our Cardus office in Ottawa, we sought a conversation about how faith plays its part in various aspects of our common life: the arts, the press, politics and the relations between faiths t...

    Read more...

  • Time to End the Five-Minute Fundamentalism

    “For the first time, one in every three voters will rely almost exclusively on digital sources for their election information and news — they have no cable or satellite, watch less than two hours of TV per week, or simply prefer online sources only,” Leslie Church, wrote recently in the National Post. As head of communications and public affairs for Google Canada, Church’s corporate interest may be obvious, but it doesn’t negate the truth of what is being said. Even if it were shown to contain some hyperbole as far as the 2015 election is concerned, the only thing askew would be the timing.

    October 19 will complete, we are told, Canada’s first truly digital federal election.

    “For the first time, one in every three voters will rely almost exclusively on digital sources for their election information and news — they have no cable or satel...

    Read more...

  • Below the Silence

    Yet those who care to remedy such a state of affairs still have time before Saul Bellow’s birth month is out to read his astonishing 1976 Nobel Prize Lecture.

    Only a forgetful silence has marked this June’s centenary of the greatest of all Canadian-born novelists.

    Yet those who care to remedy such a state of affairs still have time before Saul Bellow’s birth month is out to read his astonishing 1976 Nobel ...

    Read more...

  • Miracle Worker

    But it’s not only at Easter and in relation to life’s “big questions” that miracles are relevant. If it weren’t for the reality of miracles, I, for one, would find the challenges that confront us each day to be overwhelming and beyond my capacity.  

    Easter is when Christians celebrate the resurrection from the dead of a man from a tomb just outside of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. There are lots of arguments to be raised as to why this should be considered reliable history but at the end of the day all of...

    Read more...

  • The Imagination: Free, but Everywhere in Chains

    Now while it might seem that North Koreans have much more to worry about on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs than the fine arts, it’s telling that the Kim leadership not only knows the importance of the arts, but maintains a heavy bureaucratic stranglehold upon them. Case in point: a wrongly chosen metaphor meant to exult the leader might result in years of hard labour in a concentration camp, or possibly death.

    How might we imagine something new? How might we even begin?

    ...

    Read more...

  • Relatable Art and Invitational Work

    In contemporary art, I find some of the most highly technical paintings or perfectly exhibited pieces can put up a blockade between the viewer and the artist. These pieces can encourage the view that art is inaccessible and unapproachable to the everyday viewer, rather than engaging and relatable. This causes me to wonder if, instead of fostering the idea that art can only be appreciated by well-seasoned critics, artists could be more generous by intentionally revealing some of the process within their pieces.

    This summer I had the privilege to admire some very famous works of art in person. Michelangelo's David was definitely one of the more iconic. Turning the corner into the gallery, it was pretty hard to miss the 14-foot, shiny marble human figure, e...

    Read more...

  • Subpoenaed Sermons

    To reduce this complicated story to its bare essentials, City Council adopted the controversial HERO ordinance in June. Immediately after its adoption, opponents began organizing petitions for the repeal of this legislation; 17,269 valid signatures are enough put the issue to a referendum in November's election.

    When first alerted to this story by social media, I checked Snopes to ensure it wasn't a hoax.

    ...

    Read more...

  • US Supreme Court rules business isn't a religion-free zone

    The controversy is over the contraceptives mandate in the 2010 health care reform law, which requires employers' health plans to cover a wide range of contraceptive drugs and devices, including some the companies and others regard as abortifacients. Churches are exempt from the mandate; after widespread protest, religious nonprofits such as colleges and hospitals were offered an "accommodation": the insurer provides to the organization a health plan excluding objectionable contraceptives and then announces to the employees that those contraceptives will be paid for by the insurer.

    The US Supreme Court yesterday vindicated two Christian-owned companies, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods, that have a pro-life objection to including in their employee health plans certain contraceptive drugs and devices. In a 5-4 decision, the Court ...

    Read more...

  • God: The Highest Good

      The God that is revealed to us in Scripture is the creator of the universe. He is a god of infinite power and love. While he is indeed "goodness," he is so much more than that.

    "Does God have to be a being?"

     

    This was a question posed at a recent CBC panel discussion titled "The Public God." The woman...

    Read more...

  • We Work in Beauty

    It's a rather bizarre question, to be sure, probably even more bizarre in a world that doesn't quite take the arts—those disciplines we might see as most concerned with beauty—seriously in terms of doing useful things like solving hunger or poverty, creating infrastructure or renewable sources of energy, or, of course, bettering the national GDP.

    This week I had the chance to talk about Wendell Berry in a course in International Political Economy taught by former Cardusian Robert Joustra. One aspect of the discussion that arrested my attenti...

    Read more...

  • The Business of Patronage

    Why? The museum does not cost a dime to enter. It cost a mint to build, and likely costs a mint to maintain, but the visitor need not open her wallet for anything other than to buy a glass of wine to enjoy in the plaza. Anyone—anyone—can come in and enjoy it all. And all of its riches are available not as a result of public largesse, but of private patronage; particularly the patronage of J.

    There is no other way to describe it: the Getty is a gift. My wife and I just returned from a vacation to southern California and one of the places we visited was the J. Paul Getty museum. There is a lot you can say about the place—its use of outdoor space ...

    Read more...

  • Buffered from the Storm

    I don't know about you, but I've almost been driven to madness with our incessant infatuations with polar vortexes (vortices?), Alberta clippers, wind chill factors, and, well, the fact that it's cold. It's winter in Canada, what did we expect? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Oscar Wilde once quipped: "Conversation about weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative." Yet tune into any news station and listen in for a few moments and you might wonder: how have we allowed ourselves to become so insipid? In our newsfeeds, the we...

    Read more...

  • What Work Is For

    I read Tim Keller's book, Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work, shortly after it came out and appreciated many of the things that it had to say. So when...

    Read more...