Thursday, August 5, 2010

Peter Hitchens on The Last Judgement

On a cycling trip to Burgundy he saw Rogier van der Weyden’s 15th-century Last Judgment, and this made a lasting impression. “I had scoffed at its mention in the guidebook, but now I gaped, my mouth actually hanging open, at the naked figures fleeing towards the pit of hell. I had a sudden strong sense of religion being a thing of the present day, not imprisoned under thick layers of time. My large catalogue of misdeeds replayed themselves rapidly in my head. I had absolutely no doubt that I was among the damned, if there were any damned. Van der Weyden was still earning his fee, nearly 500 years after his death.”
-- "The Day Peter Hitchens Gimpsed Hell" (Catholic Herald August 5, 2010) -- in which the author of The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith (and brother of the infamous atheist Christopher Hitchens) describes how a painting put the fear of God into his soul and put him on the straight and narrow.

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