Monday, February 20, 2006

Bible and Culture

7 Epiphany
6 Hilary

Okay, let's try this post again. The first one was giving me problems. I've reproduced the comments I've already recieved.

I'm doing some brainstorming for my upcoming "Use of the Bible" module.

I want to focus on the authority of Scripture and what it can mean to "sit with" and "sit under" it.

To that end, I'm looking for some meditations on and artistic interpretations of Luke 24, in which two disciples encountered the risen Christ on the road to Emmaus. More specifically, I want to find themes of God's unexpected appearing in places of despair, particularly mediated through the Eucharist (or a non-cultic meal, for that matter). Direct interpretations of or allusions to the passage in music, paintings, film and literature are wonderful.

Think "word." Think "sacrament." Think "holy appearing" that transforms or reveals truth about human life.

Examples I've come up with so far include:
  • Flannery O'Connor's "A Temple of the Holy Ghost," which combines imagery of and devotion to the Mass with the life of a "carnival attraction."
  • Switchfoot's "On Fire," a song meditating on the grace mediated through Word and Sacrament. Well, if you ask me, anyway.
  • Caravaggio's Supper at Emmaus (1601 and 1606)
Does anything come to mind? Your suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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Kyle said...

Peter White said,

Off the top of my head, Babette's Feast (

Find that movie if you can.

I'll keep thinking.

Kyle said...

Mike Noakes:

"Why do you look for the living among the dead?" For some reason, that keeps pooping up at me. I could write up this wonderfuly long and wordy comment about how we, as modern-day saints, look at the Savior as if he is still dead, or at least, not very active right now. But, because I am lazy and also you all already know this, I am going to refrain and just dettle with the fact that I realy like that statement.

I do have questions about this passage:

Why did they recognize him when he broke the bread? Also, isn't it odd that the ressurected Christ broke the bread, a symbol of his flesh, while he was still on the earth? He didn't take the cup, and it doesn't say that he ate the bread, just that he broke it...

Were these fellows on the Emmaus Road looking for a political Messiah, or a religious prophet, or what? Their questions seem to hint at the idea that they misunderstood the prophets...

I think it is very special, how Jesus re-established his humanity with his friends, the eleven. Eating broiled fish (which sounds utterly repulsive to me) and allowing his scars and scabs to be examined.

"Then he opened their minds..." I love Jesus!

I doubt any of this helped, but they were my thoughts...

Kyle said...


Kyle, I was just reading through the story you talked about and I came to a part which has always amazed me (and maybe even confused me), "their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight" (31). Then I think about some of the other miracles He did after the resurrection: passing through walls (John 20:19,26), he could travel great distances very quickly as He appeared to Simon (v. 34), then assended to heaven. Yet through all of this he had a physical body: he had His scares which were tangible (John 20:27), and he could eat food (v.42,43).

This is a pretty wild story, and one I hold to be true. So when I think of it one movie comes to mind. Don't think of me as a heretic because of this, but he reminds me of Neo in some ways as the-ONE.

I know, far fetched...but it helps my stupid mind.

Kyle said...

Tom Mohan:

Becket a movie about the life of St. Thomas Becket - hard to find although a dvd is due out in late 2006, stars Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole.

Kyle said...


In the Heart of the Wood and What I Found There?

Kyle said...


while i'm thinking for better examples, Rufus from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure immediately pops to mind.

and possibly a much more complicated approach, miyazaki's spirited away.

Kyle said...

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I'll hunt them down.

In response to specific comments,

Mike, I will affirm you in your laziness. :0)

I didn't think of it as odd that Christ himself broke the bread; indeed, isn't that what he does whenever the Church gathers around the table? "This is my Body, broken for you"; and it is He Himself who serves us this Bread.

I think the people on the road were looking for a Messiah that wouldn't fail, religious or political or otherwise. They just had yet to learn that he hadn't failed. I'm also not entirely comfortable with the notion that they had "misunderstood the prophets." They hadn't yet learned to re-read the Scriptures in the light of the Risen Christ.

In addition, I don't think we can or should move away from the element of failure in Jesus' mission.

You might also check out something I wrote on the Emmaus encounter: "Meet Me on This Road."

And I make a rather nice broiled salmon, by the way.

Naak, I don't really know what to do with the indications that Jesus' risen body wasn't subject to what we think of as "natural laws."

I think I'll just be emo-lazy on that one.

Again, thanks for the suggestions, everyone.