Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Peaceable Kingdom -- Thanksgiving

For numerous years of the recent past, I used Edward Hicks painting -- Peaceable Kingdom-- to illustrate various points in my classe of Social Justice and Peace. I have always liked to use art work in teaching in the classroom. This particular print I have used is a decoupage done by Br. Peter Spurber. He is now deceased but he was a monk of Mount Michael when I first joined Mount Michael Abbey. Here is a photo of  the Peaceable Kingdom in decoupage by Br. Peter.

Here is a closer photo!

I remember drilling the seniors of the class of 2011 daily about who painted the Peaceable Kingdom. After weeks of this drilling Zach Loefellholz and Josh Mitten could readily answer what the painting was about and who painted it. At an alum gathering in Kansas City, Loefellholz told me that he had referred to the Peaceable Kingdom in a paper or a class that he had taken. My memory is that Grant Parr retained a lasting impression of this painting as well.

Br. Jerome, who has done the environment in chapel for many years, always brings out this painting at this time of the year-- just before Thanksgiving and it usually remains in the chapel for the most of the Advent season. The colors of this painting go well with the earth tones of the chapel and the season with dried flowers and grasses as well. The painting is based on the prophet Isaiah -- 11: 6-- why it is so appropriate for the season of Advent.

The painting does  speaks of peace -- not only in the animal kingdom but also in the human world with the treaty between the Native Americans and William Penn -- the individuals across the ravine or divide on the left side of the painting.

Edward Hicks painted this scene nearly 100 times. Although the animals began to look less peaceful, Hicks
never gave up trying to express the possibilty of the Peaceable Kingdom.

At this time of Thanksgiving, let us be grateful for all the we have been given. For if we are really honest with ourselves, we will be aware of how much we have all been given.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and lets try to work for the Peaceable Kingdom.

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