Oddly enough, this story begins in Shanghai, 1948. Sitting on an airplane, college graduate Bao Shan Chu is the last of his affluent family to leave China just hours before Mao Zedong's communist takeover. The army is so close, Bao Shan can hear gunshots in the distance as the plane takes off with a roar. His scholarship to an American university is what allows him to slip out of the country, and he is bound for Texas. By 1949, Bao Shan, began his studies at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business.
The vividly colored, large canvases of painter Makoto Fujimura, which go on display Tuesday at Baylor University's Martin Museum of Art, contrast visually with the smaller, black-and-white prints of Georges Rouault on display across University Parks Drive at the Mayborn Museum. Fujimura's sensibility and intent, however, parallel Rouault's, as both artists communicate traditions of Christian faith and spirituality in contemporary style.
Waco viewers can see Fujimura's paintings, many influenced by richly colored 17th-century Japanese screen painting technique and others by Rouault's colored work, in "Soliloquies," an exhibit organized by Bucknell University's Samek Art Gallery and shown at the Martin Museum through Nov. 13.
In God, Philosophy, Universities: A Selective History of the Catholic Philosophical Tradition, the latest in a number of recent books critical of the modern research university, the influential Irish-born philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre argues that "neither the university nor philosophy is any longer seen as engaging the questions" of "plain persons." These questions include: "What is our place in the order of things? Of what powers in the natural and social world do we need to take account? How should we respond to the facts of suffering and death? What is our relationship to the dead? What is it to live a human life well? What is it to live it badly?" Now in his 80s, MacIntyre is among a small group of philosophers who have sought to address such questions. Other members, about the same age, include the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor and, perhaps especially, the American philosopher Stanley Cavell, whose life both in and out of philosophy is on display in his just-published autobiography, Little Did I Know (Stanford University Press).
Everybody knows that most movies these days cost a bundle to make. Last year's big hit "Avatar," which supposedly cost more than $300 million, was only the latest with such a jaw-dropping budget. Turns out big-time opera can cost a lot, too, particularly the loud and thunderous kind.