Operation Homecoming, Part 1

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As I may have mentioned in a previous post, Makoto Fujimura is a brilliant New York artist whose deeply Christian work represents a synthesis of ancient Japanese techniques with Western styles.  

Fujimura distributes occasional essays on Christianity and the arts under the title "Refractions" (his piece on Leonardo's Last Supper recently re-appeared in Christianity Today).  Volume 22 of "Refractions" is a response to "Operation Homecoming" -- an exhbition of the writings of returning soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq.

Early in his essay, Fujimura raises a haunting question: "The writings of soldiers, or writing about wars in general, has indeed defined our literature and the arts, from Homer to Dante to Hemingway. If you remove works of art that do not in some way relate to, or respond to wars, our cultural landscape would be full of holes (think of Picasso's 'Guernica'). Perhaps that's what Jesus meant, when he warned us 'such things (wars) must happen.' He did not validate wars by saying this, but he wanted to make sure we understood the inevitability of them: that our inner malaise will surely be translated into greater conflicts. But to have the Prince of Peace tell us that wars must happen is more than troubling. Must we be haunted by wars as part of God's plan of redemption? Must art exist as primarily funerary?"
Posted February 6, 2007 @ 8:28 AM by Phil Ryken

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