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Articles on Site

On the Verge HRT - The Harassed Religion Teacher
Religion teacher letting off steam!

The Way (film) - Study Guide for RE
A study guide to the film The Way (2010) starring Martin Sheen. Useful clips are identified.

Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (Film) - Study Guide for RE
A guide to using the film Sophie Scholl: The Final Days in the classroom.

Of Gods and Men (Film) - Study Guide for RE
An article that identifies various clips in the film Of Gods and Men that are useful for teaching a variety of themes in RE.

Hughie O'Donohghue
A review by Pamela Hardesty of religious elements in the work of artist Hughie O'Donoghue

Arts Resources for Holy Week and Easter
Arts resources, including music, poems, video clips, useful for Religion teachers covering Holy Week and Easter

Arts Resources for Advent and Christmas
A look at various arts resources that can be used in classroom through Advent, Christmas and the new year.

Religious Themes in Prison Break
A review of religious themes in popular TV drama series Prison Break

Images of God in Film and TV Drama
An approach for teaching about images of God in film and TV drama, using a variety of practical examples, with film clips.

The Search for Meaning in Poetry
Looking at the search for meaning in Leaving Certificate course poetry, tying in with the Leaving Cert Religious Education syllabus.

Church Going - a Poem by Phillip Larkin
A short article on the poem Church Going by Phillip Larkin, in which the poet, not apparently a believer, finds himself drawn, nevertheless to visit churches.

Using Music DVDs in R.E. Class
Guidelines on using music DVDs in Religion class, with plenty of examples.

Religion in TV Series Lost
A review of the religious themes in hit TV drama series Lost.

Modern Christmas Music
A guide to some contemporary Christmas and Advent music. Time to try something different!

The Da Vinci Code
Breda O'Brien takes a wry look at some of the bizarre elements in this best selling novel.

Lord of the Rings and Evil
An article by Breda O'Brien that looks at the manifestation of evil in Lord of the Rings and in contemporary society.

When Art Offends
Art has the power to change minds and hearts, but it can at times be offensive, even doownright blasphemous.

The Conversion of Oscar Wilde
On the 150th anniversary of his birth, this article looks at the relationship between the writer and hs faith.

Lord of the Rings: The Achievement of a Christian Culture
On the occasion of the release of the third installment of Peter Jackson's film trilogy of The Lord of the Rings Fr John Hogan looks at some religious themes and cultural issues.

The Life of Jesus on Film
A look at how Jesus has been portrayed on film from 1898 to the present day.

Religion in The X-Files
A review of the religious themes in this groundbreaking TV show.

Chris Carter's Millenium
Another series from X-Files creator Chris Carter - plenty of spiritual themes, but with a darker mood.

Three Priests and a Truman
An essay on how priests are portrayed in the films On the Waterfront, The Mission and The Field, with a consideration of some spiritual themes in The Truman Show.

External Articles

Pop Music as a Bridge to God?
R. Jared Stout deals with issues relating to beauty, pop music and the desire for God. Specifically he does this in response to a book by Christopher West - Fill These Hearts: God, Sex and the Universal Longing.

An Introduction to the World of Iconography
An article, by Sr Aloysius, that introduces the tradition of iconography, including the use of colour symbolism.

Music and Liturgy
A chapter from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger - "Music and Liturgy." In The Spirit of the Liturgy (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2000).

The Way of Beauty
An extract from Pope Benedict's work On Beauty as a Way to God: Art "Is Like a Door Opened to the Infinite".

The Logos of Sacred Music
Composer Paul Jernberg tells of his approach in composing works that are fresh and new, while reflecting the timeless principles that constitute sacred music. Listen also to his beautiful newly composed Mass.

A Poet of the Passion of Christ
A short article on French spiritual poet Jean de la Ceppede, who wrote much about the passion of Christ. written by Dr. Christopher O. Blum, Fellow and Dean at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire.

Praying the Rosary Through Art: The Joyful Mysteries
Maria Stella Ceplecha shows how the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary can be prayed using classic art works. The article is illustrated with the chosen paintings.

Presenting What is Beautiful: The Joyful Duty of Catholic Education
Andrew Seely writes about how Catholic teachers and schools must present beauty to their students - "Beauty has an important place in the central activity of teaching and learning. Learning certainly requires discipline, but deep down it is a feast for the mind and heart".

On Beauty: A Message to Its Religious Despisers
Detailed article by Deal Hudson on the importance of beauty, and how some misguided religious believers are suspicious of it, and maybe even despise it.

Pope Benedict's Address to Artists, Nov 09
Pope Benedict's talk to a gathering of artists at a special event in the Sistine Chapel on 21st November 2009.

What About Bad Music?
Dr Jeff Mirus looks at themes such as emotional and moral responses to music, and to what extent cetain forms and genres are appropriate for worship.

Faith and Failure in Graham Greene
Detailed article by Edward Short on Catholic novellist Graham Greene's relationship with his faith.

Sacred Art, Scripture and Faith
Edward Pentin interviews Natalja Fedorova Borovskaja, an art history professor at the Russian Academy of Fine Arts, about her faith and the arts, and how the arts fed her faith under Communist rule in Russia.

Harry Potter and the Cardinal Virtues
Mark Shea writes a positive article about the Harry Potter books, but takes the virtues theme further.

Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel
Interesting revirew of a new book on the subject, dealing with the artist's faith and art.

Hearts Uplifted
Or, How to Sing Your Way Out of Hell - A complex article by Anthony Esolen, looking at questions of beauty and praise focussing on the writings of Dante in particular.

Chant: Music for the Few? Or the Many?
Lucy Carroll, organist and choir director at the Carmelite monastery in Philadelphia, discusses the history and usage of Gregorian chant.

Benedict's Mozart
An article by REV. ANDREAS KRAMARZ, showing what Pope Benedict has learned from the music of Mozart

Heartbreak Beat: The Lonely State of Rock Music
Contemporary artists are turning away from social commentary to make soundtracks for navel-gazing, according to Kate Bluett
His Bobness Deserves More Respect
An article by Martin Fitzgerald about the Christian references in the music of Bob Dylan and recent discussions about how Dylan was regarded by the Popes Benedict and John Paul II.

Film and the Christian
A balanced look at how Christians should related to the medium of film. Article written by Todd Kappelman. "Christians have an opportunity to influence their culture by entering the arena of dialogue provided by film and contending for their positions and voicing their objections with sophistication, generosity, and a willingness to hear from those of opposing beliefs".

Remembering a Poet of Commitment
Thity years dead, James McAuley was a Catholic poet from Australia, whose life and verse is worth remembering.

The Gospel According to Spiderman
A detailed Time magazine article on religious faith and religiouis themes portrayed in the movies.

The Other Side of the Wardrobe
Narnia lies just on the other side of the mysterious wardrobe. The Christian imagination is that the mystical and the supernatural lie just on the other side of the ordinary, the mundane, and the natural. An article by Rev Raymond de Souza.

Shakespeare the Secret Rebel
Does Shakespeare's work contain hidden, dissident, pro-Catholic content? Robert Manson Lee examines this controversial theory.

So What's Wrong With Rock Music?
A carefully considered examination by Dr Jeff Mirus of some of the troubling issues in rock music. This is not a condemnation, but a thoughtful piece that raises serious questions about our musical cultuture.

Rediscovering Faith Through Music
Classical pianist Jacqueline Chew rebelled against her Christian upbringing and became an atheist while attending the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in the 1970s. But her love of music eventually led her back to a spiritual life. Chew was so taken with the work of Olivier Messiaen, a pioneering French composer known for his sacred Catholic music, that after hearing his composition "Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jesus" ("Twenty Contemplations of the Infant Jesus"), she began questioning her belief that God does not exist. The more she learned about the music, the more religious she became.

W.H. Auden
Rev George W. Rutler, who knew the poet, writes about some of the spiritual issues in Auden's life
.

Tolkien and his Trees
Peter Mirus of Trinity Communications writes about the symbolism of trees in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, linking to similar imagery used by St Teresa of Avila.

Hear No Evil - My Perspective on Rock Music
Peter Mirus reflects on the argument that rock music is intrinsically evil.

Letter to Artists
Pope John Paul II, himself a writer and actor, reflects on the arts.

The Gospel According to Homer
An article on the religious themes in the Simpsons, by Mark L. Pinsky, who has written the definitive book on the subject.

Mystery and the movies: spirituality in cinema history
An article by Michael Paul Gallagher SJ.

What Makes Music "Christian"?
Challenging article by Thomas Hohstadt, composer, lecturer and writer.

The Role of Music in Worship
An interview with liturgical composer Liam Lawton.