Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Cinch Review

Be Thou My Vision

“Be Thou My Vision” is an ancient Irish poem from perhaps the 6th century. It was only translated into English in the early 20th century. In 1912 it was versified by a woman named Eleanor Hull into the lyric that is well known today, and later combined with the old Irish folk melody “Slane.” It’s become a standard Christian hymn in churches all over the world. And it was only in 1991 that Van Morrison finally did it right, accompanied by The Chieftains.

Be Thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart
Nought be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best thought in the day and the night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

From the album Hymns to the Silence

The Cinch Review

Bizarre alleged “interview” with Bob Dylan in The Hindu (Indian newspaper)

Well, this doesn’t happen every day. One gets used to seeing Bob Dylan quoted badly out of context, or seeing “hearsay” quotes where some nameless person allegedly heard Dylan say something. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a completely fabricated interview before. Yet, that’s what we appear to be dealing with today in The Hindu, an English-language newspaper in India. Link here, extracts below:

“Protests need not always come out on the streets or shooting with the gun,” says Bob Dylan, the folk icon, as he answers a long distance call from California. “I appreciate and admire the folklore of this glorious sub continent that has one of the richest cultural heritages.” Last month saw his first performance in China, where he was earlier forbidden or never invited. Continue reading Bizarre alleged “interview” with Bob Dylan in The Hindu (Indian newspaper)

The Cinch Review

Abraham Joshua Heschel on the Bible

I was reading an essay by Abraham Joshua Heschel in his book The Insecurity of Freedomand was struck by this paragraph:

Into his studies of the Bible the modern scholar brings his total personality, his increased knowledge of the ancient Near East, his power of analysis, his historic sense, his honest commitment to truth—as well as inherent skepticism of biblical claims and tradition. In consequence, we have so much to say about the Bible that we are not prepared to hear what the Bible has to say about us. We are not in love with the Bible; we are in love with our own power of critical acumen, with our theories about the Bible. Intellectual narcissism is a disease to which some of us are not always immune. The sense of the mystery and transcendence of what is at stake in the Bible is lost in the process of analysis. As a result, we have brought about the desanctification of the Bible.

Similar things have no doubt been said in many different ways, but I think that is extraordinarily well put. Those words were written in 1963. They struck me when I read them more on a personal level than as a societal or institutional criticism, although the “desanctification” of the Bible surely has had plenty to do with the rotting away of the mainline Protestant churches in America. Continue reading Abraham Joshua Heschel on the Bible