Monday, December 29, 2014

“Dry Bones” in Israel-Palestine

I’m grading projects from my fall-term Prophecy course (OTS 645) this week, and there’s a very unique one by Fares Naoum, a senior seminarian from the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem, a Palestinian citizen of Israel who is fluent in both modern Arabic and Hebrew. His art project (a large diorama / 3D-scene) is a homiletic exposition of Ezekiel 37, which applies the biblical text to the contemporary Israeli Palestinian conflict. I’ve created three views of the project to post here: (1) a 3D “Seene” photo; (2) a RotaryView 360 “introverted capture”; and (3) a short YouTube video. Each view provides a different entrée:

Below is the You-Spin capture: And here is the 2-minute video "fly-through": Fares' thesis is that the miracle of Ezek 37:14 can be applied to God’s power to comfort and offer hope to the enslaved and powerless in the Holy Land today. He writes that "People in the Holy Land--Israelis and Palestinians, Jews, Christians, and Muslims--live in the valley of the dry bones everyday in their lives, because of the ongoing fighting and conflict between the people (Israelis-Palestinians) that has been ongoing for over 100 years." He recommends the YouTube video embedded below, which provides a fairly objective overview of the conflict's origins and history. The artistic diorama places all sides down in the valley of dry bones. Also down there, in the valley, is the huge Israeli-built wall of separation, which has so traumatized the Palestinians. Both sides have a strong, deep connection to the Holy Land and both suffer in the Valley. The diorama can be viewed from behind (use the RotaryView 360), from which angle there is no hope visible. Two roads appear to lead the two sides farther and farther away from each other. Viewed from the front, however, Fares offers trees with verses from Ezekiel on mountain slopes leading up from the valley. He places the church in a central position in the scene, and urges it to play a role in fostering ascent from the dry-bones status quo. He writes, "The Church should take action... The whole Church of Christ must fulfill God's mission, to achieve peace and reconciliation. Each and every one of us is a child of God, a peacemaker." Comments welcome.

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