Bible Review 15:5, October 1999

Jots & Tittles

Bible Review

Jesus Gets a Millennial Makeover

Imagining Jesus, said Albert Schweitzer, is analogous to peering into a deep, dark well: Each generation sees its own reflection and utters the word “Lord.” In that spirit, the National Catholic Reporter, a Catholic newsweekly, is challenging artists worldwide to reimagine Jesus for the new millennium.

A $2,000 prize and a spot on the cover of the magazine awaits the winner, who must face the winnowing fan of a three-member jury and Sister Wendy Beckett (see photo), a 69-year-old British nun who hosts a television show on art.

What sorts of images will catch the judges’ eyes? All visual media are welcome: watercolor and oil paintings, sculpture, stained glass, silk screens, even computer art and photographs. Novelty is encouraged: “Until our time, this was the most popular subject for artists,” Michael Farrell, editor of the Reporter, told the Associated Press. “If you are giving us a repeat of any of those images, it’s not likely that you are on the winning ticket. There ought to be something new that we have never seen before.”

Farrell thinks much of the hype surrounding the onset of the new millennium is misplaced. “Ask anybody about the millennium, and they talk about survivalists going into the mountains or glitches on their computers. Nobody is talking about this extraordinary man who came from heaven 2,000 years ago.”

Artists should send slides of their work and a $20 entry fee to the National Catholic Reporter by October 18. Details are available on the magazine’s Web site:

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