Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Controversial Art?

 I was thinking about what we were talking about last week when we were thinking about finding a way to juxtapose the miracles of Jesus and the miracles of modern science, and also about the idea that the cross is so familiar to us that no one thinks about it anymore. It crossed my mind that we could combine the two concepts, and represent well-known biblical stories with modern people substituted for the biblical characters. We could show a doctor raising Lazarus, a chemist changing water to wine, or MLK jr. being crucified. Of course,I realize that all that might be too far of a stretch. Conversely, we could have an image of a doctor and patient overlayed with biblical text about Jesus healing, or have an image of civil rights peace protesters with the "turn the other cheek" message on top (or maybe the part from the beatitudes where Jesus says "blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake" (Matthew 5:10) or something like that). I know we said we probably want to do something more spiritual than religious, but I figured I'd throw it out there as an idea anyway.

1 comment:

Mike R said...

As I’ve reflected more on the idea of juxtaposing scientific discoveries and biblical miracles, I’ve grown increasingly uncomfortable with the idea. The installation would potentially support the cliché of the scientist or doctor with the “God complex.” If they are positioned as the miracle worker, we scientific laypeople are then necessarily in awe of the scientist, who potentially becomes a supreme figure, a deity in awe of nothing. This seems to me exactly counter to our project. Our future is marked by tremendously bright technological prospects, but these endeavors are fixed to equally astounding risk. Shouldn’t we focus on humbling the scientist, reminding them of the fragility of humanity?

Consider this quote from Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, regarding the success of the Human Genome Project:

“It has been a wonderful privilege to be able to unravel the mystery of God's creation, to see things that humans have never seen before and that God knew all along.”

(The full article is here: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1058/is_15_119/ai_90190867)

What does everybody think about this quote? Is it pious or blasphemous? I’m not sure. Note that Collins is a devout Christian and a believer of Theistic Evolution—an alternative to Intelligent Design that posits the compatibility of science and religion.