Thursday, October 15, 2009

Good day in London

Well, I had a really excellent time with my supervisor and am all set to start writing my review of the state of the debate about the location of the early Christians, with a deadline of the end of January to get a draft outline of the whole thing done (45,000 words). There'll be three substantial chapters dealing with social location, economic location and physical location with an intro and a conclusion. All I need now is a catchy title!

And I succumbed to a book in Church House Bookshop. It's Peter Oakes Reading Romans in Pompeii: Paul's letter at Ground Level. I've been waiting for this since I heard Peter was writing it but thought it wasn't coming out until next year. I resisted everything else, though.

On my way from Victoria to Church house I went past people queuing to see pieces of a dead nun in Westminster Cathedral. And for those not willing to join the queue, the 'spectacle' inside was being beamed live to a giant screen in the square outside the Cathedral. There people were able to watch while consuming hot dogs and other fast food being sold from a range of stalls set up all around the square.

I have to say that it was all a bit surreal. I'm sure the nun in question would have been extremely embarrassed to be the centre of such a mawkish spectacle!

I also spent some time in the National Gallery. In particular I stood for quite a while in front of Pieter Bruegel's adoration of the Kings- a spectacular work up close; and Piero della Francesca's The Baptism of Christ - also quite magical. I also sauntered round a few other rooms and drank deeply of the atmosphere. Lovely. I must do it more often.


Geoff Colmer said...

Hi Simon! I'm envious - a saunter round the National Gallery is one of life's great pleasures. I confess to gravitating towards the Valesquez' Rokeby Venus, but on a more obviously spiritual plane, The Supper at Emmaus, which was the tipping point for art becoming another one of my obsessions. I'm a Friend of the Royal Academy, so if time permits I take in the two. Pure joy!

Anonymous said...

How can you laud the praises of Piero della Francesca in one breath, whilst simultaneously dismissing Therese Martin (St Therese de Lisieux) as 'a dead nun'? The connections between Catholic spirituality and the artworks in question are obvious... even to an evangelical, I might have thought.

The intercession of St Therese is gentle, powerful and immensely uplifting... And shouldn't be underestimated.

Ben Fairhall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben Fairhall said...

I suppose 'Location, Location, Location' is a bit too obvious?

Speaking of matters decorative, you might have seen this:

'A bearded face, with long flowing hair, is plainly visible on the wooden door of the men’s toilet in the Braehead outlet of IKEA, the Swedish furniture and meatballs giant.

There is some debate over whether the face truly represents the Son of Man, or whether it is in fact Gandalf out of the Lord of the Rings, or even a member of ABBA.

One shopper said: "It takes you by surprise. It is really clear in the wood.

"I was only heading to the toilet and found God."'

Link: Here.