I think a lot about where faith and art intersect and it almost always has something to do with creating and creation. I came across this article yesterday and can’t get it out of my mind. Written by a unitarian pastor, Why Amanda Palmer Makes me Think About Church reinvigorated my internal struggle between two worlds that are so close and yet at times in such strong opposition to each other.
“Alfred North Whitehead called God “the poet of the world.” The central story in every religious tradition is always the story of creation: God dividing light from darkness, the Goddess giving birth, or Turtle rising from the primordial ooze with the muddy earth on its back. These primal stories are the centerpiece of religious myth not only because we humans are eternally curious about our origins, but because the ability to create is and has always been considered sacred. For centuries, if you were looking for art you went to church, where poets, painters, sculptors, musicians and composers were lauded for their ability to make a way for the sacred to enter the ordinary world. Beauty and creativity were portals to the holy.
Amanda Palmer’s work is a torrid, sweaty, sex-in-public affair with creativity. In the Punk Cabaret story of creation, creatrix and creature refuse to be separated by theological hierarchies, and are instead consenting partners in an ecstatic and slightly dangerous bump and grind. Bodies are celebrated, even flaunted, without embarrassment. After all, if it weren’t for our bodies, how would we create or experience all this beauty?”
Read the whole thing and find out why Cabaret Church is a church I’d be interested in.