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On Thursday 30 January, the art critic and BBC broadcaster Andrew Graham-Dixon delivered the inaugural Annual Religious Studies Lecture. The subject of the lecture – entitled ‘Whose Christ is it Anyway?’ – was the competing attentions of the post-Reformation Church to claim Christ, on the one hand, as a champion of the poor and, on the other, as shoring up earthly power and the more profane indulgences of the Church.
Graham-Dixon brought the world of Caravaggio brilliantly to life and questioned the too-easy assumption that the sacred and the profane are in conflict. He talked about the artist’s use of chiaroscuro (light and dark) and how this was reflected
in the artist’s own turbulent life, a man at once deeply sensitive to religious belief, but also someone whose temper led to the murder of a man in Rome and his eventual life on the run, before his own premature death at the age of thirty-nine.
The lecture was sponsored by the SJPA and was attended by A level and GCSE pupils studying religious studies and art, members of staff, parents, Old Johnians and invited guests.
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