Highlights for December

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Graphic novel traces Bonhoeffer's call to resist Hitler

Review by Shelley Crook

It is good to remind ourselves, in this season of waiting, who we’re waiting for. We’re waiting for the coming of our savior: our Jewish savior. While we tend — perhaps prefer — to think of Jesus as the first Christian, that’s an anachronism and a falsehood. Jesus was born a Jew, lived his life as a Jew and most definitely died a Jew. The fact of Jesus’s Jewishness is important, now more than ever.

Anti-Semitism is on the rise. Eleven people were killed, six injured, at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in October. The New York Times recently ran an article titled “Is It Safe to Be Jewish in New York?” in which it reported that half of all hate crimes in the city this year have been anti-Semitic.

Given such events, “The Faithful Spy” is the perfect book to read this Advent. A graphic novel, beautifully rendered in a limited palette of red, brown, teal and white, the book details the life — and death — of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

I want the whole story:

A Gospel book, 1454. Photo/courtesy of Metropolitan Museum of Art
Exhibit provides encounter with beautiful, sacred Armenia

Reviewed by Pamela A. Lewis

“Armenia!”, now showing at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art through January 13, explores the art and culture of the world’s first Christian nation.
Located at the edge of the South Caucasus mountain range on the eastern border of Turkey, Armenia converted to Christianity in the fourth century. The country’s history was complex and often tumultuous. Powerful families formed interconnected kingdoms for varying periods of time in areas of Greater Armenia, and invasions by Byzantines, Persians, Arabs, Seljuks, Mongols and Ottomans added to internal instability. Yet compelling works of visual art reflective of Armenian Christian communities were created and maintained.
“Armenia!” is the first major exhibition to explore this little-known country’s artistic and cultural achievements in a global context from the fourth to the 17th century, which marked the end of the Armenian medieval world and witnessed the widespread distribution of printed Armenian-language books.

I want the whole story:

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