Wednesday, April 02, 2008

China makes 94

Welcome to yesterday's very first visitor from China! Glad you stopped by.

This brings the virtual flag collection up to 94. 100 cannot be too far away. Unlike oil prices and death tolls, this is one case where a rising number feels good.

How many of you have ever heard of the Jesus Sutras?
The Jesus Sutras, or the Lost Sutras of Jesus are early Chinese language manuscripts of Christian teachings brought to China during the 7th century by Alopen, a Persian bishop of the Assyrian Church of the East.

The sutras date from between 635 AD, the year of Christianity's introduction to China; and 1005, when the Mogao Cave, near Dunhuang, in which they were found was sealed. Four of the sutras are said to be located in private collections in Japan, while one is in Paris. Their language and content reflect varying levels of adaptation to Chinese culture, including Buddhist and Taoist influences. [Wikipedia]

I found Martin Palmer's book on them and was quite fascinated. Such a great shift in imagery and a true inculturation of the Gospel. What also fascinated me is that the missionaries came to China right around the time St Cuthbert was born, so we are talking about a mission contemporaneous with a favorite western saint and the whole golden era of Northumbria.

Beijing will be the site of the 2008 Olympics, and this is occasion for lots of tension worldwide, as the headlines featured here indicate. I hope the athletes will be able to compete in peace. My own sympathies with minorities and the use of orange for a wordless protest are evident here.

While I criticize governments here, my own and others, this is nonetheless intended as a safe space for people from every land and culture, where we can celebrate the varied riches all peoples bring to the human experience. I thus greet with joy visits from China and pray for the well-being of the Chinese people.

And now for some music.
Chinese music - traditional pipa solo 霸王卸甲 by Liu Fang 劉芳琵琶
It's very emotional and powerful playing - a pipa solo style par excellence, by the internationally acclaimed pipa virtuoso Liu Fang. The pipa has only four strings, and is referred to as Chinese lute or guitar, though the playing techniques are quite different. (10:54 min)

Chinese music: Flute, Banjo, Citer and Erhu

A touch of classical Chinese opera:

--the BB

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