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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Seeing and Savouring

At the moment I am working on a paper about theological and ecclesiological aesthesis – the way our physical and spiritual “senses” are involved in seeing, hearing, touching and tasting the rich repository of words, images, sounds, tastes and even smells that together make up the body of Christian tradition. (In brief, it’s a reminder […]

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The Hart has reasons

I remember once trying to describe Jack Chambers’ experimental film The Hart of London to some less-than-interested conversation partners: ME (though less eloquently): “It’s one of the most striking films influenced by Christian iconography I’ve ever seen… archival footage of the history of London blown out to almost complete whiteness, and then halfway through a […]

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Art and ornithology

Here’s a video of a very interesting International Arts Movement lecture by Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin on the topic of art and phenomenology. She starts (somewhere around the 2 minute mark) with the famous and brilliant quote from – of course! – Barnett Newman: “Aesthetics is to artists as ornithology is to birds.” Things ‘take off’ […]

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Target practice

In a recent post, Daniel Siedell has this to say about Christian interpretation of art, which seeks to situate the work of art within the larger metanarrative of the Christian framework/worldview: Yet art is a moving target. It fights against this urge to meta-narrate, to interpret. It exists only in its concrete specificity and presupposes […]

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Art, truth and “truthiness”

At the moment I am doing a directed reading course on an age-old question (a question which is also the title of an intriguing book by Herman Rapaport): is there truth in art? If so, what kind of “truth” do we encounter in the work of art? Propositional? Fictive? A truth about ourselves? About the […]

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Required reading

I have a few things on the go at the moment, so can’t blog for long, but I do want to share some links: This piece by Brian McLaren responding to John Piper’s take on the earthquake in Japan is well worth reading. Divine “sovereignty” vs. control is in some ways an aesthetic question; what […]

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Only in dreams

Andrei Rublev’s icon of the Transfiguration A thought for the day: In creating a work of art, the psyche or soul of the artist ascends from the earthly realm into the heavenly; there, free of all images, the soul is fed in contemplation by the essences of the highest realm, knowing the permanent noumena of […]

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