Highlights for December

Books for Christmas

Mr. Nicholas: A magical Christmas tale
By Christopher de Vinck, Paraclete Press, 157 pp

Review by Kristine Morris
In Christopher de Vinck’s novel “Mr. Nicholas,” a hardened newspaperman’s life is rocked by a small boy’s love and an encounter with a mysterious old man.

On his way to interview a beekeeper, Jim sees Anna’s car clinging to the edge of the road. He stops to help, and they connect. But once married, their differences open a gap between them. Anna suggests that a baby could bridge that gap. …

An Advent Book of Days: Meeting the Characters of Christmas
By Gregory Kenneth Cameron, Paraclete Press, 102 pp

Review by Episcopal Journal
From Dec. 1 to Dec. 25, Gregory Kenneth Cameron invites the reader to partake in a daily feast for the eyes and the spirit. The reflections in this book draw upon Scripture, history, and legend about the character of the day — Gabriel, the Virgin Mary, the Star, the Magi, and of course the Christ Child, paired with gorgeous illustrations from the author, adapted from famous works of art, paired with illustrations from the author adapted from famous works of art. …

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Art at the Frontiers of Faith: Spain, 1000-1200

Crucifix, ca. 1150-1200, Castile-León, Spain; white oak with paint, gold leaf, and tin leaf (corpus), softwood with paint and tin leaf (cross).

By Pamela A. Lewis

“Frontier” usually denotes separation and limitation, a boundary betwixt “here” and “there,” and even “us” and “them.” Whether wrought by nature or by human hands, a frontier at once divides and defines.

According to Julia Perratore, curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Cloisters exhibition in New York, “Spain, 1000-1200,” open until Jan. 30, the borderlands of medieval Spain were understood as places that “simultaneously separated and connected different territories.”

Medieval Spanish art embodies this concept, as different faith communities maintained their distinct beliefs while also cultivating shared interests and tastes, thereby “navigating the tension between separation and connection.”

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