Lately I've been doing my Transition Year module on Religious
Themes in Drama. You can get an idea of what I do from the "Previous
Blogs - Drama" link on left, or here.
I've many of the old reliables, but have added some new material. Covering
TV drama I was delighted to be able to use the final scene of US drama
Lost - (clip on left) where all the main characters gather in a
church to get ready to move on into the next life. When Jack meets his
decesed father in the sacristy you can see a rather unusual stained glass
window in the background - featuring the symbols of the major world religions,
though the church seems predominantly Catholic, and certainly Christian.
Even playing it in class I found it quite moving, though I've seen it
several times. It certainly held the attention of the class. In general
the clips that worked best were those from programmes the students were
familiar with, like Lost, Prison Break, The Simpsons. The
latter I used in a class on animated drama - I used a clip from the episode
where Homer and Bart become Catholic. There are some crude references
and what might by some be considered anti-Catholic prejudice, but, employing
judicious selectivity, I played a scene that includes the vision of Protestant
Heaven (very sedate, like a refined country club) and Catholic Heaven
(much more fun, including Jesus bouncing on a trampoline!). This year
I also inclded clips from The Miracle Maker (life of Jesus) which
uses cartoon and claymation. Some students were familiar with this from
Primary School, and it did hold the attention.
you like that last video here's another in a similar vein, a fine version
of Angels We Have Heard on High, also by Sixpence None the Richer.
This song and other Christmas classics are available on the band's album
"The Dawn Of Grace" (2008). Sample and/or buy the album at 7Digital.
"The Dawn Of Grace" features 8 Christmas classics and 2 original recordings!
Also includes "Silent Night" (see below) featuring Dan Haseltine from
Jars Of Clay
it's rather early to be listening to Christmas music, but I came across
this version of Silent Night by the group Sixpence None the Richer
and thought it deserved an airing. Nice animated video to go with it as
well - probably more suitable for primary than secondary school. Have
got two new Christmas albums this year so far - more of those anon. For
more Christmas music from past years click on the Christmas link in the
"Previous Blogs" section on the left.
29/10/10 Have been sampling some seriously good spiritual (and other)
music over the last week and will write it all up over the next few days.
For starters I'd like to draw attention to a new radio programme - Religion
Matters on Kildare FM (Kfm broadcasts on 97.6fm and 97.3fm ). It is
presented by Brenda Drumm on Sunday mornings 8-9 am - worth getting up
for! If you're not in the Kildare area you can listen online at http://www.kfmradio.com/
. Last Sunday morning the music was well chosen - suggestions had been
made to the busy Religion
Matters Facebook page. My favourite was Sarah McLachlan's haunting
version of the Prayer of St Francis - play clip on left. Brain
Kennedy sang Liam Lawton's Allelu, as Gaeilge, The Prayer, sung by Katherine Jenkins covered the more classical side of things, while
pieces from the Mission perfectly matched the occasion - Mission Sunday.
You can listen back to the show at http://www.kfmradio.com/kfm-podcasting.html
been looking at the section on Signs and Symbols in the Junior
RE course. Some of the students have taken well to it - one student who
was great at coming up with suggestions for various symbols said he was
really "in the zone" on this topic. Tomorrow we'll be working
on Icons, in particular Rublev's Trinity Icon (left) - there's
good stuff on that in Orla Walsh's book Know the Way. If the internet
is working in my room tomorrow I'll be using a nice little web resource
on the icon - check it out here.
The reflections are simple, and navigation through the resource is easy
Watched the film Raising Helenlast
night and was surprised by how positive it was towards religion and how
warm towards people and good values. Kate Hudson is excellent as Helen,
a swinging party girl who must grow up fast when she has to raise her
sister's children when the sister dies. At one stage she prays that God
will find her a good school for the children and immediately passes a
Lutheran faith school - "That was quick" she says/prays. There's
a very funny scene where she pretends to the pastor (she calls him "Father
Pastor") that they are all Lutherans. The Pastor jokes that they
will have to have a blood test to prove it, but Helen doesn't get the
irony and says the kids can have no blood tests, on medical grounds. Later,
when the pastor asks her out on a date, she feels terrible that she may
have lead him away from God and his vows of celibacy - he explains that
clerical celibacy is not an issue for Lutherans!
Tuesday I ran a gig featuring Amy Gallatin and Stillwaters from
USA - it was bluegrass and country all the way. Amy's music wasn't too
unlike that of Emmylou Harris, and one of her best on the night was the
gospel song Satan's Jewel Crown, though it was a more uptempo version
than Emmylou's mournful version (from her classic album 'Elite Hotel').
Another fine gospel song on the night was Sailing On, written by
Rick Lang. Amy drew attention to a new album of original bluegrass gospel
songs by Lang - 'Look to the Light', featuring various artists performing
his songs. Sounds like it's worth a look.