Love, Life and Death in “The Tidings Brought to Mary” by Paul Claudel

A presentation on the eternal human questions in the French poet’s masterpiece through the eyes of Msgr. Luigi Giussani


Fr.Peter CAMERON, Editor-in-Chief of Magnificat,

Peter DOBBINS, Artistic Director of the Storm Theater,

Evelyn (Timmie) Birge VITZ, Professor of French at NYU,

and Christopher BACICH , U.S National Coordinator of Communion and Liberation

Presented by Crossroads Cultural Center
and Columbia Catholic Ministry

Among the great "Catholic" masterpieces of the 20th century, Paul Claudel's "The Tidings Brought to Mary” is certainly one of the most neglected today. Such neglect is certainly not surprising as far as mainstream secular culture is concerned. However, it is remarkable how much Claudel has been forgotten also in the Christian, and especially Catholic, milieu. In fact, the ''disappearance" of Claudel is very revealing of certain trends that have come to the fore in the half-century following his death in 1955.

Generally speaking, the following generations had a hard time relating to Claudel's deep sense of the human drama in front of Destiny, to his passion for the beauty of Christ, to his vivid perception of the significance of virginity and the call to sanctity. In hindsight, we can say today that this was a symptom of a serious spiritual and cultural short-sightedness, and that the time is ripe to rediscover Paul Claudel.

We think that rediscovering Paul Claudel has not only literary significance, but it is also very important for us as Christians, because Claudel always brings us back to the very core of the Christian experience, which we often take for granted. It is not by chance that tonight we also want to link Claudel's work to the thought of Fr. Giussani. Giussani especially loved The Tidings Brought to Mary, precisely because he felt that it is one of the works of art that reveals most beautifully what Christianity is about.

About this Event

Date: Friday, February 6, 2009
Time: 7pm
Location: Earl Hall Auditorium, Columbia University Main Campus
117th Street and Broadway, New York

About the Speakers

Christopher BACICH
U.S National Coordinator of Communion and Liberation

Editor-in-Chief of Magnificat

Evelyn (Timmie) Birge Vitz
Professor of French at NYU

Peter Dobbins
Artistic Director of the Storm Theater



Download the Invitation here


Read the transcript here


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