Monday, January 13, 2014

Crises of Faith

In the twenty years since I was baptized I have come to think of the life of faith as a thing that inherently includes recurring crises of belief and disbelief. Sometimes these crises are long period of wrestling intellectually or emotionally; sometimes they are circumstantial and sudden. Sometimes renewed belief will come with feeling; sometimes it will work itself out in action long before it is felt or articulated. But faith is something more than that felt- or articulated-renewal. In fact, sometimes it is faith itself which carries on with the crisis rather than giving up or giving in.

The thing about a crisis is that you don't know how it is going to end when you are in it. What follows are four of the most interesting artistic renderings of the crisis of faith that I have heard/seen. Two of them pronounce disbelief, two of them end in something like a wordless reconvening of the life of faith and trust. In either case, they make for compelling expressions of the kind of thing I am talking about.

(viewer discretion advised with the Andrei Rublev trailer)

Ingmar Bergman's Winter Light (click image to view a clip)

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