Pilgrim Pathways: Notes for a Diaspora People

Incarnational Discipleship

Georg Friedrich Handel (23 February 1685-14 April 1749)

Finally (but first in historical order), a birthday I almost missed except for a reminder by a friend–obviously one more in tune (so to speak) with the history of classical music than I– this is also the birthday of the great composer, Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1749).  Born the same year as Johann Sebastian Bach, Händel was a brilliant composer of operas, oratorios, and concertos.  Born in Germany and musically educated in Italy, Händel emigrated to England and became a naturalized British citizen.  He was influenced strongly by the great composers of Italian baroque, but also by the English composer, Henry Purcell. In turn, Händel influenced many, including Hayden, Beethoven, and Mozart.  Händel’s most famous work is, of course, the incredible Messiah.

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February 23, 2010 Posted by | biographies, composers | Leave a comment

Karl Jaspers (23 February 1883-26 February 1969)

Today is also the birthday of Karl Theodor Jaspers (1883-1969), the psychiatrist and Christian philosopher who made major contributions to the fields of psychiatry, theology, and philosophy.  A German existentialist and personalist, Jaspers was influenced by Kierkegaard and Nietszche in philosophy and by both Christian and Buddhist mystics in theology.

Jaspers was a major influence on Paul Ricoeur and Hans-Georg Gadamer.  More can and will be said at another time.  This is just a birthday “shout out.”

February 23, 2010 Posted by | biographies, philosophers | Leave a comment

W.E.B. DuBois (23 February 1868-27 August 1963)

This is the birthday of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868-1963), one of the great public intellectuals, civil rights leaders, and political philosophers of all American history and one of the two or three greatest figures of American 20th C. 

Pan-Africanist, sociologist, historian, author, editor, DuBois (pronounced “doo-Boyss” ) was the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. at Harvard University (1895), and one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  At the turn of the century, DuBois predicted correctly that “the color line [would be] the problem of the twentieth century.” Despite undeniable progress, it continues to be an issue into the 21st.  In the words of the historian, David Levering, “In the course of his long, turbulent, career, W.E.B.  DuBois attempted virtually every possible solution to the problem of twentieth century racism:  scholarship, propaganda, integration, national self-determination, human rights, cultural and economic separatism, politics, international communism, expatriation, third world solidarity.” 

In the midst of the speeches at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, word was brought to Dr. King and the other speakers at the Lincoln Memorial that W.E.B. DuBois had just died in Ghana.

I will write a fuller biographical sketch at some other time on this blog, but I could not let this birthday pass without a mention.

February 23, 2010 Posted by | biographies, civil rights, civil rights leaders, History, race, racial justice | 3 Comments

Environmental Theology–Byron Smith’s Contributions

I hope one day to write something significant concerning environmental theology and ethics.  In the meantime, Byron Smith, an Australian doing doctoral work in theology at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), has written some excellent series that you should read on his blog, Nothing New Under the Sun.  Each of the links below is to the first post in a series.  They are worth your time and attention.

Jesus and Climate Change

.Would Jesus Vote Green?

Peak Oil and the End of Suburbia

And these are single postings that should not be missed:

Corporate Growth: What is Wrong with the World?

Copenhagen and Climate Change: Hope and Hopelessness

What do we do with what we know? A story

Comments should be directed to Byron at his blog, of course. He blogs on much else that is worthwhile and I think it a public  service to make his blog known to any of my readers who haven’t discovered him.

February 23, 2010 Posted by | blog, blog series, environmental ethics, environrnmental theology, ethics, theology | 4 Comments