Tag Archives: Spirituality

Inspiring Kubrick Space Odyssey 2001

2001

Tonight I had the good fortune to go to the first live world premiere with a full choir and orchestral accompaniment with this great film at the South Bank Centre in London.  I have come back very moved.  The original story by Arthur C Clarke was a short story, that was rewritten and lengthened encouraged by Kubrick.  The story is mystical and fascinatingly mixes up science and spirituality.

I used to think this film was the ultimate expression of modernity, but I had forgotten how it is laced with postmodern existential awe.  The original story relates aliens as beckoning humans to evolve (the black obelisk  encouraged humanity to reimagine what is possible) resulting in humanities evolving into star children – children of the light.

I am fascinated how this holds deep premodern transcendence – spiritual searching – and the sense of human becoming.  For me what the book expresses as aliens, the film seems to be more mystical – more about encountering the divine rather than an other species.  The almost total lack of dialogue makes this sense of transcendence deeply felt.

The ending of the film used to confuse me.  Seeing it live – it now not only expresses a sense of evolution, but a sense of theosis – that humanity is transformed into an inseparable connection with the divine, following birth, life death and resurrection.

Really recommend going to see it – check it out here

The Re-sacralization of culture

One of the most important books I have read this year, is Barry Taylor’s “Entertainment Theology”.  This book really engages with context, exploring the developing new forms of mysticism.  I like what he says a great deal.  One of the key ideas, is the re-sacralisation of culture.  That religious symbolism has been reapprproated into culture, but where its meaning is subverted to the new world of mysticism.  Rightly Taylor states that we the church need to catch up with what is going on, and that is that the challenge to faih is not atheism and agnosticism as it was within modernity.  No, the new challenge is that people believe something else, an alternative spirituality, where religion is seen as outdated and controlling , where spirituality is perceived as the new freedom.

So the challenge then is for us to rise the challenge of seeking an alternative imagination, seeking to live and point to a God that is increasingly difficult to discern in our complex world.  The challenge is for us to seek this more artistic approach to mission, to seek God in the complexity of a world driven by new forms of mysticism.  The Emerging Church has been somewhat involved in this contextual endeavour.  The truth is, we are not quite sure where all this ls leading!!