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Art: PUC Students Study Beauty in Paris

By: Sharon


A group of honors students from Pacific Union College recently completed "Beauty," a
class on art and aesthetics, in a two-week excursion to Paris, France.“The course is not only a study of art history, but an
examination of how we define beauty and aesthetics and how our definitions shape
our perceptions of the world,” says Milbert Mariano, chair of
the visual arts department, in an article posted on the PUC web site. Mariano teaches
"Beauty" with Nancy
, PUC's Academic Dean.
The course's web site states that "it is expected that [through this class] students will develop a more informed
understanding of their own concepts of beauty and that they will be well on
their way to developing a personal philosophy of what is beautiful, and what is
art.  It is also expected that students will come to a better understanding of
the importance of ideas about beauty and aesthetics and how views of beauty
inform and shape attitudes and views of the world."
"Beauty" is in its fourth year of existence
and was held in Paris for the first time. Previously, the course has been taught
in Binfield, England and Florence, Italy.
Article: "Paris
in the Summer: Honors students study art abroad"

View Photos & Blog: Beauty/Paris

Adventist Blogs - Question

Reflecting on the Pew survey of American blogging, it seems clear that blogs could play an increasingly important role in Adventist communication as well.  Connecting people, fostering throughtful conversation, highlighting issues and motivating action. Well ok, actual action may be stretching it. . .

Use the quick and easy comment button and let's share all the interesting Adventist blogs we know and if you want, what you enjoy about a particular site. There are some lists of Sevy bloggers out there, but I'd like to know who you like to read.

Spectrum will then create a gateway site for the Adventist blogosphere.

Commenting below, which Adventist blogs do you read?

Room for Blogger Progress

By: Alexander Carpenter
                              The Pew Internet & American Life Project just released its survey of bloggers and their habits.

Interestingly, only 11% of bloggers focus on politics and only 2%
write on religion. The report points out that most bloggers use their
platform for self-expression. With so few people posting on public life
and even fewer on faith, this gives progressive bloggers significant
voice compared to other forms of mass media such as radio or
television. There's room for forward-thinking folks to write on how
their faith informs their public values and doing so just might make a

Also, in thinking about the future of media coverage of faith and
public life, it's important to note that more than half of all bloggers
are under the age of 30 which suggests that the blogosphere will grow
in importance both as a tool for information and mobilization in the
years to come.

Read the press release here.

And read the entire report here.

Art: Expression with a Purpose

By Sharon

Katherine Dreier: "The function of art is to
free the spirit of man and to invigorate and enlarge his vision."

Marc Chagall: "Art must be an
expression of love or it is nothing."

Here's a quick look at ways in which art is
being used to make a positive difference:
Art for the World, associated with
the United Nations Department of Public Information, strives to create a bridge
between art and society. Its mission is to "create, through the universal
language of art a meaningful and enduring dialogue among diverse peoples,
cultures, and world views in order to encourage tolerance and solidarity and to
foster education as a human right."
One of Art for Humanity's projects is to
provide art supplies to artists in Honduras and facilitate the sale of their art
in the U.S.

Art Without Borders
focuses on "helping artists transcend their own self imposed borders or actual
geographic borders, economic barriers and allow the rest of us outside these
'borders" to see a different perspective of our world." Recent activities
include a traveling exhibit of "New Orleans Artists in Exile."In Jacksonville, Florida, artist Daniel Wynn
was one of six local artists to receive a grant that will allow them to transform
a neglected neighborhood park into an "art oasis."


The "Call for Peace" Flickr group
invite members to post photos that represent message of peace. Other Flickr
groups of interest include "Humanitarian Aid," which defines
itself as "a clearinghouse for aid/relief workers to share their experiences
through photographic expression," and Global Poverty, in which
members post photos of poverty around the world.
Celebrating Peace aims to
enrich the lives of children through the pursuit of peace. It includes an online
gallery for children's artwork on peace, as well as ideas on encouraging
children to care about peace.

The Origami Peace
was started in Russia to connect people around the world in friendship
and to promote a peaceful world through the art of origami. Around 1,500
participants from 53 countries have participated in the Peace Tree Festivals.

Art with a purpose allows us to face the
sometimes troubling reality of our world, to open our eyes to new and
challenging perspectives, and to engage in envisioning change for the better. As
such, I think it goes hand-in-hand with progressive faith.

Defining Progressive Faith

During the Progressive Faith Blog Conference, I attended a panel discussion by Rabbi Arthur Waskow (left in picture), Dr. Bruce Prescott (right) and Pastor Dan (center).

Pastor Dan operates the DailyKos interfaith blog community Street Prophets where he is continuing the conversation about what progressive faith means.  He suggests that defining progressive faith should include:

  1. Support for the separation of church and state
  2. Modernist or heterodox faith beliefs
  3. Getting something out of Martin Buber (this one wasn't entirely serious)
  4. Counterweight to the Religious Right
  5. Social Experiment

What do you think--using this definition--would Adventism fit as progressive? Do you think that he neglects something in his definition? Feel free to comment below. 

A Great Resource

By: Alexander Carpenter

Check out the Daily Faith News Reel.

It is updated five days a week and includes major and minor news articles and opinion pieces on faith groups and politics around America.

Progressive Faith Blog Conference

I am attending the Progressive Faith Blog Conference this weekend.

It is a gathering of about thirty-five folks from various faith traditions who blog about progressive values.

Jews like Velveteen Rabbi and Jspot.

Christians like Talk to Action and Christian Alliance for Progress and Street Prophets and Xpatriated Texan.

Muslims like Islamicate.

Buddhists like Hoarded Ordinaries.

If you want to read live comments from the conference visit the Progressive Faith Blog Con web site.

It is turning into a very exciting discussion.

War, Peace and the Minimum Wage

Young Adventist Lebanese blogger Johnny tackles Israel and Hezbollah. Well researched, he writes: "Israel is wrong in attacking Lebanon for the sins of Hezbollah. Israel does have a right to defend itself.  But Israel is behaving cowardly by not attacking the real backers of the Hezbollah missiles, Syria and Iran.  Obviously they are not attacking Syria or Iran as Syria and Iran can actually defend themselves."

Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973) was the first woman ever elected to the
U.S. Congress, and a native of Missoula, Montana. She was elected in
1916, before women nationwide had the right to vote. In 1917 she joined
a handful of representatives who voted against entry into World War
I asserting, despite harsh criticism and certain damage to her career,
that "the first time the first woman had a chance to say no against
war she should say it."

Visit this site to see some Adventist women who carry on that tradition: Adventist Women 4 Peace

Finally, over at Faith in Context Monte Sahlin writes:

"Why would anyone want to pay an employee so little that the employee
cannot provide the cheapest possible housing and food for him or
herself? Would you be willing to look a person in the eyes and say, 'Because you do not have the education that you should and don't vote,
I want you to work for me at about half the real cost of the labor you
are going to do. And, I want you to go the church down the block and to
your parents and get them to provide the other half so that I can
afford this project.'???"

Read a really thoughtful post on Christian responsiblity and the minimum wage.

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