About the Artist / REVIEWS AND TESTIMONIALS
Praise for "The Non-Violent Radical"
"The Non-Violent Radical: Seeing and Living the Wisdom of Jesus unlocks the beauty, power, and meaning of Jesus' teaching by uniting McCollough's sculpture and scholarship in an exploration of over 40 different wisdom sayings on blessings, nonviolence, and daily life that the gospel writers attribute to Jesus. Rather than advancing new ideas, McCollough highlights recent scholarship - focusing primarily on that which locates the speech in its original economic and political context - and illustrates what the sayings mean and how they speak to and through him by means of images of his sculptures. For the thinking person of faith, this book functions as an inexhaustible inquiry capable of helping facilitate new ideas, images, and insight with each reading of a given wisdom saying."
-- The Rev. Dr. Greg Smith
"Charles McCollough assembles much wisdom in this wonderful book, from Jesus, scholars, his own life and friends. Some of it he presents with words, some he presents in an extensive array of extraordinary, sculptured visual images. Read, look, and look again."
-- Warren Carter, Ph.D., Professor of New Testament, Brite Divinity School
"Dense theories of post-colonial biblical studies, tender mercies from a life of ministry, and articulate forms of an artist are molded skillfully together."
-- Heather Murray Elkins, Ph.D., Professor of Worship, Preaching and the Arts, Drew University Theological School
"McCollough's gifts as sculptor and scholar come together here to gently and powerfully re-form our perceiving and living."
-- Renee House, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Practical Theology and Dean of the Seminary, New Brunswick Theological Seminary
"McCollough places Jesus' often spiritualized, individualized wisdom sayings in their political economic context, the brutality and inequity of the first century, highlighting parallels with the 21st Century. . . .The sculptures the author/artist has created and the stories behind them become an incarnation in clay of Jesus' wisdom teachings."
-- Alyce M. McKenzie, Ph.D., Professor of Preaching and Worship, Perkins School of Theology
". . . the artist theologian produced an astonishing number of clay relief sculptures that give material, visual embodiment to the wisdom sayings of Jesus. . . .offering us striking, dramatic images of them, McCollough makes the familiar words of Christ cut to the marrow of our being."
-- Thomas H. Troeger, Professor of Christian Communication, Yale Divinity School and Institute of Sacred Music
More Praise. . .
The Parables class at the Unitarian Universalist church here in Belfast, three weeks, went very well. People wanted me to know --and so I want to let you know--how moving the images were, and how helpful it was to open up these stories to multiple and more than personally moralistic interpretations. They got the idea of a political and cultural context , then and now. One woman said she read [that] the Martin Luther King, Jr., loved to preach on the Good Samaritan and would focus on the systemic problems around the road itself!
They deeply got the way to respond with the right brains, which--it has been shown--is hard for Unitarians (but maybe not Universalists) to do, actually.
One man said he is also taking an art history course and the images you have made moved him as much as the historical greats, and even more so for their rustic truth and closeness to the message. A woman said she loved to see the faces in the scenes we showed.
I learned how hard it is to get away from making analytical interpretations,even moralistic ones, and let the parable open up as a story and as artistically re-presented. . . .I appreciate being able to teach and lead and learn with my right brain here and now by way of your book and art.
-- The Rev. Dr.Duncan Newcomer, Ordained UCC minister
"Charles McCollough's month long stay with us as Artist in Residence at First Congregational UCC Church in Boulder was a transformative experience for our congregation. He engaged us with teaching on the wisdom sayings of Jesus, taught a hands-on clay workshop, preached, and produced a commissioned piece of sculpture, offering interaction and engagement on his process with all who dropped by to see him work. Charles' depth of knowledge about the gospels, his personal transparency and gentle nature, his wisdom and wit, his extraordinary gift of creativity and the excellence of his artistic ability all added up to a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all who experienced his presence with us. The power and pathos of the sculpture he did for our congregation, "Knock and the Door Will Be Opened", stands in our narthex as an ever present reminder of the radical hospitality to which God calls us. Charles is a master teacher and artist, and he was an absolute joy to have as our Artist in Residence."
-- The Rev. Martie McMane, Senior Minister, First Congregational Church, Boulder, CO
"I am grateful for your extraordinary participation at New Brunswick Theological Seminary as our Visiting Artist. We have had several very good Visiting Atists, but your time with us went beyond what anybody else contributed to the life of the seminary. I miss your sculptures in the arts display area; I anticipate the hanging of your three sculptures on the wall in the seminary's entrance and gathering area; and I look forward to the installation of the "Underwood Bust" in a prominent location and display in the library. Your contributions to the arts at New Brunswick Theological Seminary will continue throughout the seminary's future. Thanks for your special presence and sharing"
-- The Rev. Gordon R. Dragt, Emeritus Collegiate Minister, Middle Collegiate Church, NYC
"Charles McCollough's art captures the drama, humour, and irony of Jesus' parables in a way that no prose interpretation can. Jesus used parables to trouble the waters of the known world and assail its easy assumptions. In McCollough's art, ancient waters tremble once again."
-- Prof. Stephen J. Patterson, Author of Beyond the Passion: Rethinking the Death and Life of Jesus, and Professor of New Testament, formerly of Eden Seminary, St. Louis, MO
"Charles McCollough's sculptures give us a new and arresting way of seeing Jesus' parables. In addition, his text provides us with the historic setting, and multiple interpretations from the past centuries, a thought-provoking feast for the eyes and the mind."
-- Jane Daggett Dillenberger, Profess of Art History and Theology, The Graduate Theological Union Berkeley, California, Author of Style and Content in Christian Art: The Religious Art of Andy Warhol.
"Charles McCollough literally gives us a new perspective on Jesus' parables. McCollough's images are poignant, surprising, and oh-so-human. The accompanying text and questions help us experience these familiar teachings in fresh new ways - a living word for our day."
-- Lois Huey-Heck, Co-Author of The Spirituality of Art
"This beautiful intersection of words and images will engage the reader's imagination for the sake of both insight and transformation. What McCollough has produced is a parable in itself. Defying simple interpretations or pat explanations, it speaks to the spirit and the heart as much as to the intellect."
-- Robin Margaret Jensen, Luce Chancellor's Professor of the History of Christian Worship and Art, Vanderbilt University, Author of Face to Face: The Portrait of the Divine in Early Christianity.
"Like the parable themselves, Charles McCollough's art reminds us that faith is an act of imagination, luring us away from the empires of this world toward the realm of God, where beauty dominates power, and grace vanquishes pride."
-- John H. Thomas, Former General Minister and President Emeritus, United Church of Christ.
"McCollough's sculptures open up familiar parables in fresh and memorable ways. The art collaborates with social and economic analysis to allow the words of the text to put on flesh. The accompanying CD and the questions for discussion make this a valuable resource for students, scholars, and church leaders alike."
-- Sharon H. Ringe, Professor of New Testament, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC