When I saw Godspell this weekend, I realized that I have a wealth of people to discuss it with because I work at OTC, but many of you may be limited in your ability to express your opinions and ask your questions about the show. I hope that this space might be a resource, both to share your thoughts and experiences with each other, and to ask any questions you have about our side of the Godspell experience.
We’d love to hear your thoughts and conversations in the comments!
Godspell encourages us to reexamine the teachings and stories of the Gospel of Matthew through new eyes, to question the assumptions we have about who Jesus and his disciples were and what they were about. Here, we’ve brought together a range of images that explore the question of who and what Jesus himself has meant to people from different cultures and times, and how artists have chosen to manifest that.
Here’s a great look at the history, types, and uses of parables, which make up a significant portion of Godspell. Previews start Wednesday, so if you want to go in with context, start reading up.
(Speaking of context… there’s a guide for that.)
You never know what you’re going to find on the internet. In this case, it’s a cartoon episode in which DJ Jesus must save the desert from a terrible storm by arriving at Burning Man on time—but first, he has to resist the devil’s temptation and get there. Here are some clips:
(Note: while this episode is appropriate for most children, others may not be as the show is intended for adults.)
You may think of Jesus as the long-haired, bearded Caucasian man, but artistic depictions of Jesus are flavored by all the cultures and times that produce them. In the blog Indigenous Jesus, you can explore the crossroads of indigenous cultures around the world and Christian imagery through art.
While it’s from Mark, not Matthew, one of the benefits of this discovery is the ability to see how the Gospel of Mark changed from the first century to the second century. It gives an earlier start date to interpretations of New Testament texts, a timeline that continues through Godspell to current media.
This isn’t the exact mummy mask, but it is the kind that are made from reused papyrus.
One of the parables in Godspell, the Parable of the Sower, has inspired a series of other works, including a concert musical currently running at the Public Theater in New York City. This musical, by folk-rock musician Toshi Reagon, is an adaptation of the novel by Octavia Butler, which follows a young woman leaving her community in post-apocalyptic Los Angeles to find hope and escape with a new religion.
In any incarnation, Parable of the Sower reflects, as the original parable does, the struggles and benefits of spreading a new philosophy and reaching those who can most benefit from it.