Faust: A Pact with the Devil

In preparing readings from Goethe's Faust for November's concerts, I have been thinking a great deal about the Faust myth. Who was Faust and why does this age old tale of a man's pact with the devil in exchange for power and knowledge, hold such sway? It seems that Faust, or, in fact, a man called Johann Georg Faust, actually existed. He lived from approximately 1480 -1540 in and around Württemburg in Germany and, having obtained a degree in divinity, turned to the study of magic, claiming that he trusted the devil more than God. Tales of the magical feats he performed were recorded, along with accusations that he was a conman and a drifter who had to flee a teaching position for molesting b

Presence at Christmas (plus a free download)

Christmas. An odd time of year. For some, primarily children I imagine, a time of wonder and anticipation. For many, a reflective and even bittersweet time of tallying up the losses and gains of the year, of marking the passage of time. And for not so few, a desperately sad time when the perception of themselves as outcasts from the warmth of family and love is rubbed into their wounded souls by every supermarket soundtrack and television advert. For a very few, the Christ, whose birth the holiday was created to commemorate, is the prime focus. And for many who are of other faiths, the traditions of creating light at the darkest time of year are, none the less, enacted. I, perhaps, fall into

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