The city of Montreal—just recovering from a typical winter of towering snowdrifts and sub-zero temperatures—is taking the wraps off the pavilions at Expo 67, which opens this week. While the 150,000 planted shrubs on the two-island site soak up the warm spring sun, visitors from the tropics will be able to photograph the surging St. Lawrence River yielding its ice floes to the mighty tides churned by large ocean-going ships.
Nestled among the huge pavilions at the first major North American fair recognized by the International Exhibitions Bureau are two contrasting centers of Christian witness. Moody’s “Sermons from Science” pavilion got in on a scientific ticket. (An application from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which was at the New York fair along with Moody, was refused because only a single “Christian Pavilion” was to be permitted.)
The united pavilion is a major ecumenical breakthrough for Canada. Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, United Churchmen, Baptists, Presbyterians, and Lutherans have joined forces to put up a $1.3 million pavilion which some observers think will be the most controversial in the whole of Expo.
The only religious symbol, a T-shaped “tau” cross (the form most likely used in the Crucifixion), stands at the gateway. From there, the total-communication theme of Canadian communications prophet Marshall McLuhan takes over. The “medium is the message,” in photos of contemporary events, surrealistic pictures, variated sounds taped in New York City, and changing light patterns.
Visitors will be led through three stages. Stage one shows life as it was before the Fall: a garden of beauty, tranquility, flowers, and a pool (which is to represent baptism—if anybody can make the interpretation). ...1
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