Transforming Christian Thought in the Visual Arts

Theology, Aesthetics, and Practice

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Sheona Beaumont, Madeleine Emerald Thiele
Routledge Studies in Theology, Imagination and the Arts
  • New York: 
    , July
     266 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


**We have this title in ebook format only.**

This volume explores how the visual arts are presenting and responding to Christian theology and demonstrates how modern and contemporary artists and artworks have actively engaged in conversation with Christianity. Modern intellectual enquiry has often been reluctant to engage theology as an enriching or useful form of visual analysis, but critics are increasingly revisiting religious narratives and Christian thought in pursuit of understanding our present-day visual culture.

In this book an international group of contributors demonstrate how theology is often implicit within artworks and how, regardless of a viewer’s personal faith, it can become implicit in a viewer’s visual encounter. Their observations include deliberate juxtaposition of Christian symbols, imaginative play with theologies, the validation of non-confessional or secular public engagement, and inversions of biblical interpretation. Case studies such as an interactive Easter, glow-sticks as sacrament, and visualisation of the Bible’s polyphonic voices enrich this discussion. Together, they call for a greater interpretative generosity and more nuance around theology’s cultural contexts in the modern era.

By engaging with theology, culture, and the visual art, this collection offers a fresh lens through which to see the interaction of religion and art. As such, it will be of great use to those working in Religion and the Arts, Visual Art, Material Religion, Theology, Aesthetics, and Cultural Studies.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Sheona Beaumont is an artist and writer working with photography. She was Bishop Otter Scholar (2017–2020) with the Diocese of Chichester and King's College London, and her doctorate on the Bible in photography was completed at the International Centre for Biblical Interpretation, University of Gloucestershire. She has written for History of Photography, Religion and the Arts, Art+Christianity, and the Visual Commentary on Scripture, and her artist books include Eye See Trinity and Bristol Through the Lens. She is co-founder of Visual Theology.

Madeleine Emerald Thiele is an art historian whose research examines Tractarian aesthetics and the angelic form within British art c.1840s–1900s. She has presented papers internationally, taught at the University of Bristol, written for the Victorian Web, lectured at Marlborough College, and was the Visual Arts Editor for HARTS & Minds. Madeleine has published on the Pre-Raphaelite artist John Roddam Spencer Stanhope, and she is also co-founder of Visual Theology.


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