Theological Anthropology

I am in the midst of developing a fully online course on Theological Anthropology for Tyndale Seminary in Toronto. I’m really looking forward to digging into this material. Here is the assignment I am most excited about: Write a brief theological analysis (6 pages, double-spaced) of the portrayal of the human person in a popular […]

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Image-Mixing and Interreligious Encounter

In his book on religious syncretism, Karl Starkloff outlines his concept of the “in-between” – a “metaxic,” inclusive space between religions only navigable through participation. This experience of blending and betweenness finds visual expression in the creative films of Canadian artist Peter Mettler []. Mettler has been recognized as a unique and innovative documentarian both […]

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Theology and Pop Culture

This is the course description for “Neon Bibles and Broken Hallelujahs: Soundings in Theology and Popular Culture,” which I am teaching online through the Institute for Christian Studies in January. Register or get more information here! Popular culture is a “matrix of meanings”: a complex network of texts, images and “memes” characterized above all by […]

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Theological Aesthetics

This is a description for a course I’ve developed called “Beauty Ever Ancient, Ever New: An Introduction to Theological Aesthetics.” If you’re interested, drop me a line!   “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” “Beauty is only skin deep.” For many, beauty is a ‘superficial’ concept whlch seems out of place in Christian […]

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Better Theology, Better Aesthetics

Here is a quote for the day from a 1957 article by Amos Wilder, New Testament scholar (he taught at Harvard Divinity School), poet, minister and leading figure in what has come to be called “theopoetics.” (See his 1976 book of the same name.) He was also Thornton Wilder’s brother! I think his insights in […]

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Relational Aesthetics and Narrative

An area of contemporary art theory I am currently interested in is relational aesthetics (RA), particularly its relationship to questions of influence and authorship. Here are some of my thoughts, in the form of a conference abstract:  Nicholas Bourriaud’s suggestive (though controversial!) notion of a “relational aesthetics” has drawn attention to the way the production […]

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These Songs of Freedom

I had the privilege yesterday of attending a performance/lecture by Jeremy Begbie, hosted by Wycliffe College in the hallowed environs of Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Begbie is one of the seminal figures in the theology and the arts conversation, dating back to his now-canonical Voicing Creation’s Praise: Towards a Theology of the […]

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Phil Irish, whom I wrote about here, was kind enough to send me this video which follows the installation of his Makeshift gallery show in Cambridge. It is intriguing to see the progression from the two-dimensional plane of the painting to something more sculptural. To me, the larger pieces almost look like they have shattered […]

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Art history matters

At the risk of sounding like the president of the Matthew Milliner fan club, I think his piece on John Ruskin and “visual ecumenism” in the latest issue of SEEN is something of a turning point for the contemporary theology and art conversation. (SEEN is the bimonthly magazine put out by Christians in the Visual […]

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Art and religion in the Big Apple

A few bits of relevant writing I found interesting this week: Firstly, from hyperallergic, a fascinating interview with artist AA Bronson regarding the Institute for Art, Religion and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary in New York. The events they have put on have miraculously managed to bring together the art world and the theological […]

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