Arts and Culture

Former Archbishop turns tables on William Shakespeare

A play written by the former Archbishop of Canterbury and Wales, Rowan Williams, about the “lost years” of celebrated English playwright Williams Shakespeare has opened in a theatre in Wales.

Not in God’s Name examines ‘altruistic evil’

“When religion turns men into murderers, God weeps…Too often in the history of religion, people have killed in the name of the God of life, waged war in the name of the God of peace, hated in the name of the God of love, and practiced cruelty in the name of the God of compassion.”

Henri Nouwen’s gift to Anne Lamott

When Anne Lamott found herself, at age 31, a self-loathing drug and alcohol addict, it was the idea of “radical self-love,” as expressed by Henri Nouwen and writers like him, that allowed her to turn a corner on her life, the 62-year-old American writer told a Toronto audience last week.

Nothing new in The Young Messiah

As long as there’s money in faith-based films, and there’s plenty of it, apparently, Christian audiences can expect the canon of Bible movies to continue to expand.

A call to examine the church’s complicity in racism

Theologian and blogger Drew G.I. Hart’s analysis of North American racism is a call to justice aimed at both church culture and the wider society—with the greater challenge aimed at church people.

Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery and Brian d'Arcy James star in Spotlight, which is based on The Boston Globe's 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of sexual abuse in the Catholic church.

‘Outward be fair, however foul within’

In 1761, the poet Charles Churchill penned these words: “Keep up appearances; there lies the test; / The world will give thee credit for the rest. / Outward be fair, however foul within; / Sin if thou wilt, but then in secret sin.”

Swedish actress Alicia Vikander as Ava, a robot with artificial intelligence. Photo: Mongrel Media/Universal Pictures

Ex Machina: What makes us human?

At last—a movie that got a wide commercial release that’s worth getting excited about! Smart, original and utterly engrossing, Ex Machina is both a minimalist exploration of what makes us human and a modern science fiction classic.

A deep dive into stillness and joy

Nowhere, Pico Iyer claims, is the most interesting destination.

Iyer, a travel writer by trade, makes this pronouncement in a new work, The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere. The book accompanies a 15-minute TED talk, and runs only 74 pages—compact enough to finish in one sitting.

Knitting nonagenarian

Mary McDonald, 96, is a veritable “knitting machine. Really. She knits continuously. She never stops.”

Every day, McDonald’s clicking needles turn out thick, warm mittens and hats for London, Ont.’s, homeless. Each year, she donates boxes and boxes of finely wrought winter wear for people ages two to 92 to the Hospitality/Out of the Cold program at London’s St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church.

“I feel like a little kid at Christmas.” Drew Brown’s Analog Love in Digital Times has been nominated for a Juno Award for Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year. Photo: Seth Partridge

Anglican music director nominated for a Juno

Not many churches can say their music director is up for a Juno Award—but then, not many churches have Drew Brown working for them.

The Toronto native, who currently serves as creative arts director at Trinity Streetsville, in the diocese of Toronto, is one of five contenders in the category of Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year for his most recent release,Analog Love in Digital Times.

David Oyelowo plays Martin Luther King, with Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King in the film Selma. Photo: Paramount Pictures

Selma and the struggle for civil rights

“Our lives are not fully lived if we’re not willing to die for those we love, for what we believe.” Martin Luther King Jr. might have added that there can be no justice, equality or freedom for any of us, unless everyone can claim those things as their birthright. If some are oppressed, then we are all oppressed. Or so we would know if we were not so often blinded by our instinct to separate ourselves from “the other.”