February 2007 Archives

The implications of the simple nature of the divine Being have raised the question among philosophical theologians as to how this divine Being is to be understood as possessing Personality 12 . For it is clear that the entire system of Christian beliefs is irrevocably grounded in the central belief that God is a personal Being capable of rationality, volition, communication and relations with beings outside itself 13. And yet these qualities of personality or self-consciousness, as we humanly know and understand them, seem to require a degree of division within the nature of the person, a fact which seems to collide with the simple nature of God.

Deconstruction and Physical Philosophy

This paper will briefly examine several key tenets of physical philosophy and their relation to contemporary deconstruction. The aims of this inquiry are a more thorough understanding of deconstruction's philosophical foundations and examination of its more recent conclusions involving theology and religion in general.
In the field of Christian biblical hermeneutics, figuralism or typology has traditionally been understood as a crucial element in understanding both the texts of the Old Testament and the New Testament. Typological exegesis of the Old Testament is em p loyed by the earliest of Christian writers in the attempt to apply the historical narratives of national Israel to the Christian church. It will be the intent of this paper to briefly reopen the topic of typology so that the history of the notion and its application to biblical texts is clearly understood, thereby allowing a precise and historically accurate definition of typology to be set forth.

A/other Lover at LiveWire Chicago Theater

An audience member provides her feedback to the cast following the play.

A/other Lover (Another Lover) is written by Resident Playwright Joshua Aaron Weinstein and was performed by the LiveWire Theater Company at The Side Project Theater in Rogers Park.

One of the potentially great things about attending small independent theater is the chance to see fresh and experimental fare performed by hungry up and coming talent. At theaters like Side Project, which opens it space to a variety of local theater ensembles, you can literally sit in the same seat and experience a wide swathe of Chicago's impressive diversity of performing arts.

But this degree of access occasionally proves to be a two-edged sword, as was the case with A/other Lover, which, although perhaps built upon an interesting premise nonetheless came across as a rather bewildered and unfinished production.

The cast was decent with the most convincing performance by Glenn Proud as Joe and the Chicago stage debut of Erin Barlow as Cherry. But with a running time of a mere 48 minutes and a storyline which was as uncompelling as it was unbelievable, both cast and audience had a undeniably perplexed look on their faces when the lights suddenly came up.

Granted, Weinstein attempts what could be an interesting experiment in "overlapping" nearly every element of the play, but while his intent may be apparent, it seems also as clear that he needed to spend more time on the actual story, ideally developing it to a strength matching the presence of his ambitious mechanical technique. And I do mean everything overlaps; The characters' dialogue, the plot's time line, and whether by design or the restricted space of the theater, even sets blend and collide. Interestingly there is at one point a scene where the play and its narritival content switch places, amounting to a play within a play. Even the play's title, the unpronounceable conflation "A/other" displays this tendency.

I found this experimental attempt quite fascinating and requiring some interpretation on the way home, but this play ultimately, like its title, may indeed contain a meaning which is intuitable, but nevertheless is quite clunky and awkward when read and nigh impossible to pronounce.

Jean Gerson has been described by Schaff as "the most attractive and the most influential theological leader of the first half of the fifteenth century". Tentler regards him as "the greatest voice in the cure of souls". Ozment sees in him a "rich harvest of medieval thought". And Connolly suggests, "It would be difficult to find anywhere ideas that better sum up the whole tradition of Christian Spirituality than what we find in the pages that [Gerson] wrote." Although the sum of ideas and works of Gerson lie well beyond the scope of this paper, a brief overview of his life and work within the church will be attempted, with special emphasis being given to his development of Mystical Theology.

Blithe Spirit at Gift Theatre Company

Blithe Spirit is a play written in 1941 by Noel Coward the popular English playwright. Its genre is "comedic farce" and, among other things, deals humorously with the topic of death. This caused a slight scandal when it first debuted at a time when England was dealing with the grim realities of World War 2. But the uproar was short-lived, however, and the play soon broke all prior box office records.

Although death is a primary thread throughout the play, which amounts to a comedic ghost story, Coward's work delves primarily into the complexities of muddled human relationships, especially those of ideal, remembered or simply pragmatic love. The narrative consists of three primary characters: Charles, the socialite and somewhat relationally aloof husband of Ruth, his second wife, and Elvira, Charles' first and more rambunctious younger wife who is deceased.

When Charles and Ruth invite the eccentric medium Madame Arcati over for dinner to entertain their socialite guests to some popular spiritism, things go awry as Charles soon begins seeing and hearing his dead with Elvira. There soon emerges a triad of relationships between the three through which Coward uncovers very real and often tragic, unrealized human sentiments albeit in farcical ways. Elvira is clearly intent on disrupting Charles' current marriage out of the dsire to be loved and not forgotten. Ruth gradually comes to recognize Elvira's presence and must then deal more clearly with her role as second and likely less-loved wife of aloof Charles. And as Charles becomes more acclimated to Elvira's presence and jealous desire for love, he tries increasingly to have his cake and eat it to with both women, an endeavor he finds more difficult than he imagined.