The end of art & the school of life
First Things has an article by Roger Kimball entitled The End of Art.
If you’re interested in art and its interaction with religion, you
might enjoy Kimball’s essay. Here’s a taste:
"By the nineteenth century, art had long been free from serving the
ideological needs of religion, and yet the spiritual crisis of the age
tended to invest art with ever-greater existential burdens—burdens that
continue to be felt to this day. In Wallace Stevens’ words, ‘After one
has abandoned a belief in God, poetry is that essence which takes its
place as life’s redemption.’”
I wonder if this “existential burden” is being felt at London’s new
church alternative, The School of Life? This curious “shop” seeks to
promote “intelligent instruction on how to live a fulfilled life.”
Meals, sermons, books, and a blog…it sounds a little like All Saints.
Here’s how they describe their sermons:
"In the old days most of us looked to religion for direction on how to live. Now we flick through the Sunday papers or surf the net finding little by way of good counsel.
At The School of Life we’re curious about what values we should live by today. So we’ve asked maverick cultural figures to tell us what they see as the virtues to cling to and the vices to be wary of.
From kindness and humility, to envy and adultery, they deliver persuasive polemics with peculiar passion. If you struggle to love your nimby neighbour or respect your niggling parents, come and be converted.
All sermons will take place at 11.30am at The Horse Hospital, just down the road from The School of Life. Expect hellfire preaching, an alternative parish newslatter, hymns, sticky buns and the possible appearance of the Devil himself."
You can read more about them here.
Also recommended is The Architecture of Happiness, by School of Life faculty member Alain De Botton.
By the way, Greg is seeking to dialog with them via email. Perhaps we’ll have more on The School of Life soon.
fascinating! i ran across a blog post of the school of a life a bit ago, and wasn’t sure what to think about the whole thing. can’t wait to see the results of Greg’s dialogue.
I heard about the School of Life on an NPR bit and was mildly terrified. But it’s expected. In our post-Enlightenment era we are always analyzing ourselves, always trying to know ourselves, instead of _being_ ourselves. It wasn’t long until someone came up with “School of Life.” We need a school of life because everyone here is dead.