A setting by an 18th century German composer of a translation into his own tongue of a Greek account of the trial and execution of an Iron Age Mediterranean religious radical, performed in a 15th century English church. This cultural, artistic and creative hybrid has enabled Jill Segger to think afresh about the death of Jesus and its meaning.
The narrative of the trial and execution of Jesus has been subject to centuries of creative re-interpretation, says Jill Segger. A Bach Passion performed in a Cambridge college chapel proved both exemplar of the vitality of the cultural hybrid and inspiration to revisit the source.
“I hear those voices that will not be drowned”. These words from Peter Grimes are pierced through the four metre high sculpture by Maggi Hambling which stands on the beach at Aldeburgh in celebration of the life and work of Benjamin Britten. Read against the Suffolk sky, they go straight to the heart.
Many churches struggle to make their services more inclusive, but we need to be prepared for radical thinking if we truly want to address the problem. We are unlikely to make much progress as long as services appear as performances and we define worship by what happens on a Sunday morning.
Edwin Denby’s attempt to link the famous Nutcracker ballet with the message of Christmas – from “envy and pain” to “invention and social harmony” – offers only part of the potential religious content of this seasonal ritual, says Spencer Dew.
A Methodist organist is planning to use his hour on Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth this Sunday simply to make London happy with music. Peter Harding, organist at Acocks Green Methodist Church in Birmingham, will play the accordion to passers-by.
Conformity and concern about image are the enemies of truth, says Jill Segger. Yet they are everywhere in our testosterone-driven culture. Purity of heart enables us to respond to the unconventional or unexpected with integrity, as well as feeding clear-sighted conscience.