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Articles by Roberto Perez-Franco

April 6, 2012
Back in November 2009, I reviewed a book by Earl Doherty, Jesus: Neither God nor Man, which discusses at length his theory about the origins of early Christianity without invoking a historical Jesus. After calling Doherty’s theory marginally superior to the predominant view, the atheist philosopher Richard Carrier stated in his review of Doherty’s work that “the tables have turned.” A refutation to Doherty’s theory, Carrier said, would require developing a single, coherent theory in favor of Jesus’ historicity that can explain all the evidence at least as well as Doherty’s. With funding from both atheists and believers, Carrier himself has taken on the question formally, and his work will soon be published in two volumes.
November 6, 2009
One would be hard pressed to find something that has influenced Western civilization more than Christianity. Even in the age of Britney and Facebook, the figure of Christ — cornerstone to the faith — is considered divine by a significant fraction of mankind. Debates stirred by discussion about the historical Jesus make headlines periodically, be they triggered by the serious study of artifacts like the shroud of Turin and the James Ossuary, or by storytelling from the likes of Martin Scorsese and Dan Brown.
November 30, 2007
Yo-Yo Ma has pulled an ace from his sleeve with his most recent album New Impossibilities. Far from canonical, the pieces on the record are wild, living, breathing music. The title, although borrowed from a Mark Twain phrase, seems closer to the kind the writer Jaramillo Levi would use to crown one of his short story collections. In a very real sense, that is what Ma brings to us in his latest production: stories collected from the thousands of miles of the ancient and modern Silk Road. His language is articulated through bold musical sounds, and his subject is the deep continental Asia: Iran, China, and everything in between.
November 2, 2007
Leave it to the New England Philharmonic and its director, Richard Pittman, to come up with a bold program. Living up to the adventurous reputation that has repeatedly earned them awards and accolades in the recent past, they prepared a unique program for their Oct. 27 program held in Kresge Auditorium at MIT.
March 16, 2007
ArsLatina and Sony Classical have recently presented an homage to Ennio Morricone's masterpieces, interpreted by a surprisingly heterogeneous group of musical masters, from Yo-Yo Ma to Metallica. The anthology could hardly have a more auspicious timing: it comes on the heels of the Italian composer receiving an honorary Oscar at the 79th Annual Academy Awards. Furthermore, the album opens with "I Knew I Loved You," the same song that Celine Dion sang on the same Oscar Night that the composer received his award. In it, Dion still displays the warmth and shine of her prime, which when combined with flawless orchestration, make this the best song of the album.
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