Tag Archives: Asthetics

A Hope of Stability: The Avett Brothers, Rabbit Run, and a Benedictine Vow

I think it is important to recognize how aesthetic experiences, like listening to well crafted music, can intersect with our intellectual life. So when these spheres happen to intersect nicely in my life, I feel I should share them with you! After all, if we only pursued intellectual endeavors, life would get pretty boring.

As I was listening to the Avett Brothers the other day, this song really gripped me. Partly because it ties in really well with some of the literature I am currently reading and also with some writing I did last spring for my Ethics class in Philosophy. Give it a good listen here.

The Weight of Lies:

In my philosophy class in Ethics last semester, I wrote a paper on a chapter of a book called Monk Habits for Everyday People, by Dennis Okholm. The book is a study of some of the practices of the Benedictine monks and attempts to show how these practices might be needed and useful tools for the church at large. In this chapter, Okholm is concerned with a rather interesting vow that the Benedictine monks take–a vow of stability. For Benedictine monks, this means that they commit to stay with the same community for the rest of their lives. Continue reading

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The Suburbs? Really?

Disclaimer: This post may come off as snobbish, inconsiderate, and perhaps a bit elitist. Also I will be making wide-sweeping generalizations in this piece. Don’t be alarmed–I know they might not hold as true as I claim.

With that out-of-the-way, I just thought that I would express my dislike for the suburbs. I really don’t like much about these places in America. Unfortunately this type of living has become nearly ubiquitous Continue reading

Artifice and Hope

Lately I have been reading Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright. Though the main topic of the book is Christ’s resurrection and the implications that it has for how we live and what we believe about what happens when we die, Wright has some very interesting thoughts about beauty and art, which I thought might be relevant to this blog. He notes that a feature of many of the communities that we live in, typically poorer ones, is ugliness.

This rings true in a real way. The only shadow of beauty that people often have in these communities is the glitz and glamor of whatever new-fangled product the television is trying to sell them–or the shallow, sensualized, one-sided version of beauty that is showcased in our culture’s fascination with celebrities. Just drive through your local impoverished neighborhood and you can just feel an overwhelming grayness, often accentuated by some of the run down homes.

This brings us to Wright’s assertion:

“When people cease to be surrounded by beauty, they cease to hope. They internalize the message of their eyes and ears, the message that whispers that they are not worth very much, that they are in effect less than fully human.” (231) Continue Reading