Thursday, April 14, 2005

There is nothing I want to find out and long to know with greater urgency than this: can I find God, whom I can almost grasp with my own hands in looking at the universe, also in myself?
- Johannes Kepler, the 16th- to 17th-century discoverer of the orbits of the planets and a Lutheran

There are real scientists, from Kepler to Pasteur to Stanley Jaki today, who believe in and love God.

On the box
In the States the NBC network is trying to cash in on The Da Vinci Code with some original sensational Catholic-themed fiction of its own. So far it’s got:

• An actress with a pleasant modern-RP accent playing an improbably pretty nun (modified habit) with a misspelt Jewish name (‘Josepha Montafiore’). The supporting-player nuns are in proper habits — Hollywood’s got some sense.
• One scene authentically in a Greek Orthodox church but with mangled Western polyphony being sung in Latin as the incidental music.
• John Rhys-Davies — great to see him working again.
• A last-rites scene in which the RC priest uses nice-sounding thou-and-thee language and not ICEL drivel.
• One risible clanger theologically (I’m sure there’ll be more): Sister Josepha says ‘What if Jesus is no longer in heaven but now here on earth?’ Hello? At the first coming He remained in heaven while being made man. God isn’t limited to being in one place at one time (of course that’s the answer to Kepler’s question) but then again I wonder if the writers understand Christian beliefs in His omnipresence or in the divinity of Christ.

This was preceded last night by a news special that described The Da Vinci Code’s wild theories while fairly playing sound-bites from interview subjects explaining how and why they’re groundless (largely made up in the last century).

Pot, kettle; kettle, pot: ‘Revelations’ is ‘weird’ and ‘unbiblical’, says... Tim LaHaye.

‘Law & Order: Trial By Jury’
Fairly good storytelling even without the usual emphasis on the police side of the story (rather like ‘Criminal Intent’ leaves out the courtroom side) but now that Jerry Orbach’s Lennie Briscoe is no longer with us there’s no-one likeable to counterbalance the bitch-on-wheels that’s Bebe Neuwirth’s prosecutor. Deadpanning Amy Carlson is eye candy. I wouldn’t mind too terribly if Neuwirth’s character, like another TV lawyer, accidentally stepped into an empty lift shaft.

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