Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Is Sir John Tavener losing it?
Oh, dear. Господи, помилуй.

He’s skating on thin ice...

But is Sir John really saying anything heterodox? He’s branching out artistically not joining another religion (like that poor confused minister in Washington) or even playing at another religion, though he seems to approach that... I give him the benefit of the doubt and think he’s speaking metaphorically about his dreams and about changing his music which of course he has every right to do.

This strikes me funny though, a bit of romantic stereotyping:
Many people when they’ve met American Indians have very strong dreams afterwards.
Do they?

It reminds me of an episode of ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ (a recent TV show in the States) in which a man living in Alaska finds a totem pole and imagines he’s having visions because of it. Its owner, who happens to be a native, comes round to get it and the guy starts blathering to him about feeling the emanations from the sculpture. The Indian says:
You white boys are all alike! [OK, he’s stereotyping too.] Every time you see brown skin you think we're all dancing with bears! Well, let me tell you something. I'm a Baptist, I work for a living and I've got only one word for snow: snow!
Turns out the Indian carved and painted it as a rainy-day project with his grandkids... to make a marker at the end of his drive.
He says Mary "feels closer to me than Christ. I can't explain that - she's much more mysterious because there's so little known about her, yet she seems very active in the world in an extraordinary way."
Actually this is fair game because he didn’t say she is closer to him than Christ: that she feels closer, right or (often) wrong, has been a big part of Catholic folk religion for a long time. And there is very little known about her! As long as you actually knows Christ, and know the right doctrines, there’s no need to go all protty and analyse it to death. ;) Right, Arturo?

Remember what C.S. Lewis wrote about the ‘good dreams’ in paganism? And there’s natural religion, something the church has always appropriated.
One of the dedicatees of the work [a choral piece called The Flood of Beauty] is Pope Benedict. Tavener is an admirer, then? "Sort of, because he's a traditionalist, and I think that's very important. Part of the senility of religion [What?], I seriously believe, is Vatican Two [an Ecumenical Council of the Vatican which held sessions between 1962-65]. It was the third betrayal of Christ. Where they started throwing out Latin and all the best music ... I think it was a downward path for the [Roman] Catholic church. It was trying to modernise religion. They are eternal truths and if you try to modernise it, it just becomes ridiculous."
From Fr Joseph Huneycutt.

Update: Here’s more from Mark Shea.

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