Friday, March 04, 2005

Unorthodox Icons

I just got back from San Francisco. It's quite a city. As I mentioned previously, I worshipped at Grace Catherdral, having chosen that over such available alternatives as, I kid you not, St. John Coltrane African Orthodox Church.

A Love Supreme

I saw St. John Coltrane from a cab as we drove by, but now, having looked into it more I'm kind of sorry I didn't check it out. It was one of a handful of oddities I saw during my trip.

Back at Grace Cathedral, I found icons of John Donne and Martin Luther King Jr. and an icon of Mary Magdalene that looks like it could be straight out of "The Da Vinci Code" (more on the latter soon). I've since discovered that these are some of the tamer icons written by artist Robert Lentz. Browse around the and you'll find some things that could make all but the most syncretistic of Christians flinch.

I liked the King icon enough to pick up a copy. It does a wonderful job of capturing the essence of his message.

But the Golden Gate City wasn't all progressive Christianity. While I was there, I also visited the Haight. Visiting a shop after shop I found myself a pilgrim in an unholy land. Well...not unholy exactly...more like "spiritual but not religious". The shops are fully of religious artifacts from various eastern religions, incense and books on various mystical themes. In addition to the standard books on Zen and the like, I found books representing Sufism and Judaism, but, aside from the occaisional volume relating to Thomas Merton, Christianity was noticably lacking.

As I was standing outside The Gap at the corner of Haight and Ashbury (weep if you must)

Generation Gap

it occured to me that this area is ripe for a store representing the richness of Christian spirituality. It could offer the standard incense alongside icons, rosaries, Gregorian chant CDs and the like. Maybe a back room with frequent lectures on deep Christian themes.

1 comment:

LutheranChik said...

Maybe that's my vocation! I knew there was a reason I enrolled in LMTP! LOL