Neo Classicism Enlightenment – Treatment of Classic Themes in Modern Style

Neoclassicism is a unique movement in the decorative, literature, classical arts and theatre that originated in the middle of the 18th century. Ancient Greek and Roman culture draw upon the Western classical arts and culture during this era.

Neo classicism artists do not make dreary reproductions of their creations- be it arts, sculpture or poetry but makes something new and innovative every time. This ensures a high standard. However a neo classical artist runs more chance in churning out mediocre and innocuous stuff in his over enthusiasm to be different. More than just creating something entirely new, neoclassicism is a natural expression of a culture with all its elements and the finesse with which an artist regains the lost elements that might have slipped into the oblivion is what makes a neo classic artist successful and popular.

Neoclassicism has thrown open countless possibilities in interior designing, inspired by the rediscoveries at Pompeii and Herculaneum, dating back to the 1740s. Intelligent and sensuous application of these styles has resulted in the creation of some of the most enchanting interiors in the Baroque style. The Roman styled rooms of William Kent were actually based on the classic basilica and temple exterior architecture, which was given a different treatment.

Pastel colored motifs, sculpted in low relief or monotone paintings, suspended ribbons and vases were all used lavishly in neo classic creations. In the 1800s a theme of etchings and engravings in Greek architectural examples, set off a trend called the Greek revival.

Neoclassicism started in England and France and was quickly accepted by the artists of Rome and Sweden. A second, more prominent neoclassic wave came into being during Napoleonic Empire, which stood out for spectacular engravings. In France, the first spell of neoclassicism is often called the “Louis XVI style”, where as the second phase is referred to as “Directoire” or Empire. Italy stuck to the Rococo style until the Napoleonic regimes infused new archaeological classicism, which became a strong political for the young urbanites with republican leanings in Italy.

At the end of the world wars, a neo classic movement in the Arts came into being. This movement which shunned romanticism was noted for its religious (especially Christianity) themes, the foundation of which was laid by T. E. Hulme in English literature. Some of the most popular neo classicists in English included T. S. Eliot and Wyndham Lewis among others.

The Aboriginal Dream Time In Modern Day Life

The Australian Aborigines believe in their Dream Time that we dream about something before we actually do it, In other words, if we are planning on traveling to a distant city, we actually dream about it and in our subconscious mine know what the final result will be before the actual journey begins.

If we were as in tune to nature as they are, we would then be able to comprehend the future, and if something was to occur we didn’t want to participate in, we could change it before it happened.

Many times, we believe modern day people no longer or never had those abilities. We believe those talents are confined to people in the past, or prophets in the bible.

That simply isn’t true. We all have those abilities, we just need to cultivate them. When a talent we have isn’t practiced or thought of it withers and dies just like a muscle in our body withers and dies if we don’t use it.

My dad always talked about the time he applied for a job, he had never been to the building or workplace where the job was, but as he entered the building, he walked over to the workstation without any prompting from anyone.

The human resources director was astonished that dad knew where to go, and questioned him as to whether he had been in the building prior to this particular time.

Dad replied that he had never been there before, I don’t think either one ever realized what had just happened.

Dad had a premonition, or dreaming and only followed his instincts after “dreaming” before the event.

We all have those abilities, we have just been conditioned to believe that we don’t, either through religion or a belief that we are not worthy and need someone else to dictate to us what we believe.

For the human race to evolve into the next state of consciousness, we must all once again learn to develop our intuitive skills. We have come to a point in history here we can no longer trust anyone to tell us the truth without their bias, it is imperative we relearn these skills.

These are skills we already have, we just don’t realize it on a daily basis. We all have premonitions and thoughts that guide us in our daily life, these thoughts are the same as what the aborigines are experiencing.

We just need to let our ego and conscious mind get out of the way.

Moving With the Gear-Train of Modern Science

Fire was the first discovery and wheel was the first invention. Since that time, we have traveled far. Science has taken us to territories we could not have envisaged some centuries ago. 20th century was when science really came into its own. It produced magic realism for us. Half of our present day inventions were inconceivable a century ago.

Science had brought great laurels in every field but the one place where it has really shone is technology. Today, we have access to some of the most unbelievable technical inventions. A few centuries ago, a mastermind called Leonardo da Vinci made the first blue-print for an aero plane. Today, even the economy class, domestic seaters have become passé. It is time for the new avatars. Who would have thought that we could fly miles above the ground on a machine that is streamlined to fight air resistance?

A few days ago, NASA launched a Space Shuttle called Discovery. It is supposed to use truss bands and solar wings to propose a new means of solar reception. Imagine, a tangible metallic object run on hydrogen fuel, stationary in space, thousand miles away, bringing us news, data and newer means of improvement.

It’s not only about the aerial endeavors. Vehicles which run terrestrially are packed with newer inventions by the day. The Lamborghini, Masseratti, and Maybachs have technology written all over them. These are the mechanical devices which have made us a Nano-race.

We have rewritten the rules for acoustics and the auditoriums and theater studios are a testimony to this. We have come into a digital age. Computers have given way to laptops and then to notebooks and palmtops. Picture-tube televisions have metamorphosed into LCDs and Plasma. They offer High Definition Imaging which again is a vanguard formula.

Landlines took a leap with mobiles. The mobiles have converted into a complete island of entertainment and communication.

Internet has brought the impossible within means. It has made online education possible through its familiarized territory. A teacher in Spain can teach a student in Nigeria with the help of Elluminate whiteboards and Voice Chat modules.

Heat Sensor technology and technical receptors have advanced to such an extent that we can make refractors which respond to heat and temperature variations a hundred miles away.

Mathematicians such as John Nash; scientists like Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton, and many others have turned the tables of the world. Theory of Relativity and Gravitational Constant has been the cornerstone of many scientific inventions.

Science has really beautified life. Today, you can visit your ailing relative on the other side of the globe within a day. You can look at an award ceremony held in London, sitting in a nook of Algeria. You can convert thousand and thousand pages of data into a pin size chip and still have plenty of space left.

You cannot come back from the dead but that’s probably the only thing you cannot do. The borders of time and space are certainly shrinking.

Writing Tips: Modern Missions

Richard Hannula authored, Trial and Triumph – Stories from Church History initially for his own children, but many others of all ages find it very helpful. Additionally, I see value in these mini-biographies as great writing prompts.

Students learning to write need to remember to:

  1. Use transition words: transition is like a bridge between two sentences or two paragraphs.

Examples: first, next, finally, obviously, certainly, in addition, while, third, first, finally, last, to begin with, to conclude, unfortunately, notwithstanding, equally important, between, similarly, first of all, on the other hand, consequently, soon, again, farther, hence, equally, therefore, although, further, underneath, thus, as though, however, though, accordingly, moreover, instead of, besides, yet, so that, as a result, otherwise

  1. Avoid contractions, abbreviations and overworked words.

All contractions – such as: she’ll, he’d, it’s (Easy solution: she will, he would, it is)

Abbreviations – such as: Sept. o.k. (Easy solution: write the full form)

Dead words such as: get, got, very, nice, you, your, good, just, lots, a lot, well, fine, so, fun, great, every, the end, (Easy solution: substitute with more descriptive language)

Slang: awesome, cool, fine, totally, rad, raspy (Easy solution: substitute with more descriptive language)

Many writing handbooks have lists of words that replace “dead” words with more descriptive words. I found mine in a book that I have had for many years. My internet search did not find Mitzi Merrill in From the Paragraph to Essay, 1988. Every student should have such a book for reference.

William Carey – Father of Modern Missions – 1761-1834

William Carey, a poor cobbler, sat in his workroom making, not shoes, but a leather globe of the world. With his huge hand drawn world map on the wall and the globe, he prayed for the heathen around the world. He made enough shoes to pay his expenses, but much of the time he preached to people who lived nearby. In spite of this opportunity and the many who believed in Christ, he longed for those around the world to be saved. He lived in a time where many of the churches believed that if God wanted them to be saved, He would do it without Carey’s help or anyone else’s. Later, Carey began attending a minister’s meeting. At the first one, he encouraged the churches to send missionaries. They scoffed at his idea and did nothing. Then in 1791, Carey presented an 87 page paper, An Inquiry Into the Obligation of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathen. Again at the next meeting, he preached with great passion, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” Even with the deep moving message, the pastors again held back in fear. William took Andrew Fuller by the arm and pleaded, “Is there nothing again going to be done, sir?” Moved, Fuller spoke passionately to the men who reconsidered and began the progress. One year later, John Thomas and William Carey set sail to India where they began ministering to the Hindi. Six years later two English missionaries, Joshua Marshman and William Ward joined the team in India. God used these men to bring countless people from India to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. As a result, other churches formed missionary societies and began to send out missionaries. On his deathbed at the age of 72, Carey feebly said, “… when I am gone, say nothing about William Carey. Speak about William Carey’s Savior.”

John Paton – Witness to the Cannibals – 1824-1907

After three years of preaching on Tanna of the New Hebrides, John Paton left because of the danger. These people were cannibals. His wife and firstborn had died in childbirth and even then he had persevered. Then it was time to leave, but after a year, he came back having recruited coworkers. This time he went to the people of Aniwa. They thought he was crazy, especially after a long time of preaching and finally, John dug a well. These unbelieving people had never seen “rain” come from the ground, but when fresh water bubbled up from that well, the Chief asked to preach the next Sunday. Many people of Aniwa heard the Chief testify to his belief in Jehovah God, the God of Missi, as John Paton was called. Nearly all of these people came to Christ. Later, other missionaries went to the South Pacific Islands to preach and many believed. Generations of John Paton’s family now serve in South Pacific Islands as missionaries.

Amy Carmichael – Mother to Outcast Children- 1867-1951

As a young child, Amy learned much from her parents regarding her God. She learned to pray; her heart’s desire was to have blue eyes instead of brown. God did not give her blue eyes. Later in life she realized why God had given her brown eyes. In his sovereignty, God sent her to work with women in South India. In that country Hinduism and its caste system makes it difficult to live as we do. Amy’s brown eyes helped her as she worked with these people who all had brown eyes. Those “breaking caste” by becoming Christians or even working in another field than their family, were in grave danger. Carmichael raised children and testified of God’s grace for fifty years. Many books telling of her children remain long after her death at the age of 83. God used Amy Carmichael mightily!

Learning Arabic – Classical Or Modern?

In Arabic, the modern dialect and the classical dialect are actually quite similar, more so than ancient and modern versions of other classical languages. Absent some stylistic differences, and some basic constructions in grammar, the similarities are remarkable, and yet a little deceiving at the same time.

Of course, modern Arabic, like all other languages, contains words which do not exist in classic Arabic. Words like car, plastic, engine, etc. obviously did not exist in the ancient language. And some lexical meanings of words have also changed over time.

Like all evolution, the transition from classical to modern happened gradually. If one must define a cut-off point, one would not be too far off if one pointed to the middle of the 19th century.

Any decision about which version of Arabic to learn must be driven by the ultimate goal. On the surface, it would seem to make sense for many to study modern standard Arabic. However, if the primary goal is to study and analyze the Qur’an, then the best course of action might be to study classical Arabic.

No matter which choice one makes, it is very feasible to then extend one’s knowledge to learn the other, because of the similarities referred to above.

Either way, one should not forget that both modern standard Arabic and classical Arabic are essentially compromises. Each has variations.

In modern times, each part of the Arab world has different versions, or dialects. This means that people from different Arab regions might have mild to extreme difficulty understanding the version spoken in a different region.

The same can be said for classical Arabic. In the earliest times, each tribe had its own version, and these differed considerably. In or about the 10th century, two versions emerged as primary – Basra and Kufa. These became dominant.

For those who wish to analyze the Qur’an, learning classical Arabic is only the beginning. There is also the Hadith, and other principles of religious education, such as morality, piety, and logic. But it must start with learning Arabic, and in this case classical Arabic, unless there is also a desire to use the language for purposes over and above Qur’an study.

Whichever branch one decides to study, always remember that it is relatively easy to grasp the other, because of the large overlap and similarity.