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Music & The Arts

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 109

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Guests on Volume 109: Douglas Coupland, on the strange and wonderful life and thought of media guru Marshall McLuhan; Charles Mathewes, on lessons from Augustine on thinking about our political lives in theological terms; William T. Cavanaugh, on how the modern state is a unique kind of political entity, inviting a new kind of idolatry; William Dyrness, on the challenges of developing a positive theology of desire and the imagination; Steven Guthrie, on relating the Spirit's work in making us human to what happens in art and human creativity; and Susannah Clements, on the changing view of evil evident in the evolution of vampires from Bram Stoker to Sookie Stackhouse.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 107

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Guests on Volume 107: Victor Lee Austin, on why authority is not a barrier to true freedom and is necessary for human flourishing (and will be forever); Ellen T. Charry, on why happiness has been underplayed in Christian theology (and why it shouldn't be); Anthony Esolen, on the explicit and implicit teaching that has caused many young people to be cynical and unhappy; Ferdinand Schlingensiepen, on the ambivalence of postwar Germans to the anti-Nazi resistance movement (and to Dietrich Bonhoeffer); Allen Verhey, on why it's dangerous to draw too stark a line between nature and supernature; and Calvin Stapert, on the historical, theological, and musical elements that combined to produce Handel's Messiah.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 106

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Guests on Volume 106: Adam Briggle, on how Leon Kass's leadership of the President's Council on Bioethics attempted to reframe public thinking about ethical matters; John C. Médaille, on why economics should be concerned with ethical matters from the bottom up; Christopher Page, on how the presence of choral music in the Church shaped the rise of the West; Christian Smith, on why sociologists need a richer understanding of human nature and human personhood and should recognize "love" as an essential human attribute; Herman Daly, on why he and Wendell Berry are disturbed by the lack of attention paid by classical economics to the realities of the material world; and Thomas Hibbs, on the dark nihilism in the films of Woody Allen.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 102

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Guests on Volume 102: Daniel M. Bell, Jr., on recovering the view that the just war tradition is more about the shaping of character and virtue than a checklist for political leaders; Lew Daly, on how the discussion concerning faith-based initiatives raised larger issues about the identity of social groups in American society; Adam K. Webb, on whether the traditional personal and communal virtues in premodern village life must be abandoned for poverty to be alleviated; Stratford Caldecott, on how denying the reality of beauty is linked to a denial of the coherent meaning of Creation; James Matthew Wilson, on Jacques Maritain's pilgrimage to faith and his subsequent development of a rich philosophy of beauty; and Thomas Hibbs, on the similar projects of painters Georges Rouault (1871-1958) and Makoto Fujimura (b. 1960), and how they each resisted various confusions in modern art.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 100

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Guests on Volume 100: Jennifer Burns, on the life and legacy of Ayn Rand, "goddess of the market" and entrenched enemy of altruism; Christian Smith, on the aimless cultural world of "emerging adulthood" and on how it makes the idea of objective moral order implausible; and Dallas Willard, on why it's important to recover the conviction that religious beliefs involve real knowledge. In honor of the five score milestone, part two of the issue features a look back at the beginnings of the Journal and a few special excerpts of conversations with those early guests, including Peter Kreeft on Lewis, Huxley, and J.F.K. after death; P. D. James, on good and evil in fiction; James Davison Hunter, on culture wars; Paul McHugh, on when psychiatry loses its way; Ted Prescott, on nudity in art and advertising; Ed Knippers, on the powerful presence of the body; Martha Bayles, on pop and perverse modernism; Dominic Aquila, on Christopher Lasch; Gilbert Meilaender, on random kindness; Neil Postman, on technology and culture; and Alan Jacobs, on being maudlin in Madison County.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 97

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Guests on Volume 97: Mark Noll, on how Christian higher education is aided by a commitment to something like "Christendom," a commitment to the assumption that the Gospel has consequences for all of life and all of social experience; Stanley Fish, on how university professors should refrain from bringing their own political, philosophical, and religious commitments into the classroom; James Peters, on how Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Pascal, and many others had an understanding of the nature and purpose of reason quite different from the common modern understanding; Scott Moore, on cultivating an understanding of politics that goes beyond mere statecraft, and on the limits of the notion of "rights"; and Makoto Fujimura, on how his work as a painter is enriched by writing, why artists need to cultivate an attentiveness to many things, and how visual language expresses experience.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 96

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Guests on Volume 96: David A. Smith, on the beginnings of the National Endowment for the Arts and the capacity of the arts in a democracy for combatting atomistic individualism; Kiku Adatto, on how images, words, and ideas interact in a visually saturated culture and on how the image of a person's face in a photograph has the capacity for intimate representation of inner personhood; Elvin T. Lim, on how presidential speeches have been dumbed down for decades and why presidents like it; David Naugle, on the deeper meaning of happiness, the disordering effects of sin, and the reordering of love made possible in our redemption; Richard Stivers, on the technologizing of all of life; and John Betz, on the critique of the Enlightenment offered by Johann Georg Hamann (1730-1788), and why it still matters to us.

MARS HILL AUDIO Reprint 13

Robert R. Reilly, "The Music of the Spheres, or the Metaphysics of Music"

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(from The Intercollegiate Review, Fall 2001)

For 2500 years in the West, music was understood as a work of discovery, as an expression of something present in the structure of the cosmos. Despite changes in musical styles, the ways composers and musicians arranged melody, harmony, and rhythm were assumed to be expressive of some objective reality in the nature of things. As Robert R. Reilly summarizes this view, "Music was number made audible. Music was man's participation in the harmony of the universe." In the 20th century, that view was abandoned by courageous pioneers of the avant-garde, and "musical art was reduced to the arbitrary manipulation of fragments of sound." In this essay, Robert R. Reilly contrasts these two sets of assumptions about music, and introduces two 20th-century composers who rejected the metaphysics of chaos in their compositions: the Danish composer Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996) and the American John Adams (1947-). Read by Ken Myers. 43 minutes. $2.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 94

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Guests on Volume 94: Maggie Jackson, on how multitasking exalts efficiency and promises the overcoming of bodily limitations as time is restructured and on the importance of attentiveness in sustaining personal and social order; Mark Bauerlein, on how technologies have rearranged the social lives of teens (and their expectations of education); Tim Clydesdale, on what the first year in college means for teens; Andy Crouch, on the physical basis of cultural life and how "culture making" is done; and Jeremy Begbie, on how music is a way of engaging with the order in Creation and on how writing and hearing music involves a recognition of likenesses in Creation and the exercise of "hyper-hearing."

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 90

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Guests on Volume 90: J. Mark Bertrand, on how the language of "worldviews" can mean something richer than it often does; Michael P. Schutt, on how the day-to-day practice of Christian lawyers can reflect a Christian view of the nature of law; Michael Ward, on how C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia were shaped by medieval cosmological beliefs about the seven planets; Dana Gioia, on the disturbing trends in the reading (non)habits of Americans; Makoto Fujimura, on reading, painting, and attending to the world; Gregory Edward Reynolds, on lessons about reading from the study of media ecology; Catherine Prescott, on why portrait painters often depict their subjects with books in their hands; and Eugene Peterson, on the place of reading in the spiritual lives of Christians.

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