Chopping Lives Up into Bits

Sørina Higgins writes an outstanding synthesis of three pieces of art in her recent piece “Three Sorrows.” Her discussion of Of Gods & Men, the award winning French film, is particularly astute:

Of Gods and Men is such an amazing film that it does even more than bridge the gap between the arts and faith. In the world of this film, that gap never existed. It is a piece straight out of the High Middle Ages, that glorious period of holism when human beings did not have to chop their lives up into bits and toss the pieces into various boxes labeled “religion,” “work,” “politics,” “science.” The heavens whirled in concentric perfection, singing the praises of their creator in an orderly harmony studied by astronomer, musician, and theologian alike. The monks in Of Gods and Men are like that; but they live in the postmodern/posthuman era, and their peaceful coherence is torn apart by the divisions of our brutal, uncivilized time.

A few questions come up in my reading of this that I have been chewing on the past few days:

Is the multi-connectivity, multi-tasking and specialist training of the Internet age a logical extension of the Renaissance?

Are people more whole or less whole in a postmodern world?

How can we recover a sense of artistic direction and vocation from earlier periods of art?

We would love for you to share your responses in the comments below.

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