Sunday, April 3rd at 4pm
Four lay scholars and artists preach from primary sources as they search for Paradise accompanied by the Baroque harp. Harpist Christa Patton joins Nicola Masciandaro, Amy Melson, Karl Steel and Dominic Pettman as they take to the pulpit wielding theory relating to water, food, celebration and the present as tools to cut through the thicket that encloses paradise.
Paradise Now: The Heresy of the Present
By Nicola Masciandaro
“Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:4).
“Abandon all hope, you who enter” (Inferno 3.9).
This sermon will pursue the truth of the thought that *this* is paradise, a thought that severs the distinction between the heretical and the orthodox, the torturous and the consoling.
Acts of the Anima Aquatica
By Amy Melson
“Each of us is now a part of the resurrection body, refreshed and sustained at one fountain where we all come to drink.” –1 Corinthians 12
“O fairest among women, go out and go down.” – Song of Solomon
The sermon intends to evoke and invoke the paradisiacal by tracing the sanctifying and absconding mystery of Soul through its aquatic aspects, in effect dowsing for the well water that is corrosive to the living death of self-separation.
Meat Me in Paradise
By Karl Steel
Several twelfth-century treatises on resurrection include passages like the following:
carnes animalium et piscium qui conveniunt mensis hominum, transeunt in carne vescentium. Tota caro hominis resurget, ergo caro animalium huiusmodi facta humana resurget. Item transit caro hominis in carnem lupi et ita caro lupi resurget quia resurget caro hominis, quae in ea transivit;
which translates as:
meats of animals and fish that are fit for the table of humans turn into the flesh of the eaters. All human flesh will resurrect, therefore the flesh of these animals, having been made human, will resurrect. Also, human flesh crosses over into the flesh of a wolf [that has eaten a human] and thus the flesh of the wolf will resurrect since the flesh of the human, which has crossed over into the wolf, will resurrect.
We are what we eat. That’s the worry. What we eat is not only fuel; it becomes us, and so is us, and when the time comes for us to finally resume our bodies, and to freeze our bodies into something eternal and immutable, what else will be us and will be us forever?
Exiled from Funland: A Sermon on Profane Paradise
By Dominic Pettman
Both Vilem Flusser and Giorgio Agamben depart from the assumption that “we have forgotten how to celebrate.” What is more, they tie this form of forgetting to various related phenomena, including the Sabbath, the end of history, and the (con)fusion of work-and-play in today’s “telematic society.” This sermon stages a dialogic encounter between these two very different – but intersecting – techno-theologians. And it does so in order to ask, firstly, whether their initial claim is true, and – if so – to pose a secondary question: what might be the ultimate, contemporary image of Paradise for the amnesiacal populi that continue to seek a return to Edenic conditions?
Our SermonizersNicola Masciandaro is Associate Professor of medieval literature at Brooklyn College (CUNY). See The Whim. Amy Melson is visual artist, mother and writer. Her work can be viewed on her blog at Brooklynometry. Dominic Pettman is Head Shepherd of the Culture and Media flock, Eugene Lang College Parish (as well as Associate Professor of Liberal Studies, New School for Social Research). He is the co-author of Avoiding the Subject: Media, Culture and the Object(AUP, 2004), and the sole author of After the Orgy: Toward a Politics of Exhaustion (SUNY, 2002), Love and Other Technologies: Retrofitting Eros for the Information Age (Fordham, 2006), and Human Error: Species-Being and Media Machines (Minnesota, 2011). Karl Steel is an assistant professor of medieval English literature at Brooklyn College, CUNY. He writes about animals, and blogs here. For more go here. Christa Patton specializes in historical harps and has toured the Americas, Europe and Japan with Early Music New York, Ex Umbris and Piffaro the Renaissance Band. She is the co-director of the Baroque Opera Workshop at Queens College. A former Fulbright scholar, Christa studied the Italian Baroque harp at the Civica Scuola di Musica in Milan, Italy with historical harp specialist, Mara Galassi. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate at SUNY Stony Brook with early keyboard specialist, Arthur Haas.