Visual Faith (Engaging Culture Series)
How can art enhance and enrich the Christian faith? What is the basis for a relationship between the church and visual imagery? Can the art world and the Protestant church be reconciled? Is art idolatry and vanity, or can it...
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How can art enhance and enrich the Christian faith? What is the basis for a relationship between the church and visual imagery? Can the art world and the Protestant church be reconciled? Is art idolatry and vanity, or can it be used to strengthen the church? Grounded in historical and biblical research, William Dyrness offers students and scholars an intriguing, substantive look into the relationship between the church and the world of art. Faith and art were not always discordant. According to Dyrness, Israel understood imagery and beauty as reflections of God's perfect order; likewise, early Christians used art to teach and inspire. However, the Protestant church abandoned visual arts and imagery during the Reformation in favor of the written word and has only recently begun to reexamine art's role in Christianity and worship. Dyrness affirms this renewal and argues that art, if reflecting the order and wholeness of the world God created, can and should play an important role in mod
"Both theological and practical, this wide-ranging study will be of special interest to all who want to get beyond the sterile prejudices that have so often marred the relation between visual art and Protestantism."--Jeremy Begbie, Cambridge University and the University of St Andrews"Dyrness advocates 'careful historical and theological reflection' and puts this into practice in ways that satisfy the academic mind. Most of all, however, he emerges as a theologian of the arts with a message for the churches. He offers a well-founded critique of traditional Protestant prejudice against matters visual and artistic, and he issues an inspiring challenge to follow the Spirit into richer modes of praise and worship."--Graham Birtwistle, Free University, Amsterdam"A refreshing and welcome addition to the growing discourse on a Protestant recovery of visual imagination and the need for Christians of all stripes to engage and exploit the visual arts--both in the secular marketplace and within the worshiping life of the church."--E. John Walford, Professor of Art, Wheaton College"The image-oriented insularity found in certain sectors of the Protestant church is sensitively and thoughtfully challenged by Bill Dyrness in this insightful guide. Visual Faith weaves together a compelling case for the collaboration between art and Christianity. Placing the complex world of contemporary art making within historical, theological, and cultural contexts, Dyrness affirms the necessity of images in the ongoing vitality of the church and her mission."--Barry Krammes Chairman, Biola University Art Department Publications Editor, Christians in the Visual Arts"With economy, grace, and passion, Visual Faith provides a compelling case for a deeper engagement on the part of Reformed Christians with visual art and aesthetics. Without apologizing for the past, Dyrness chronicles the astonishing renaissance of Christian involvement in contemporary art that is taking place in the present. And by placing art in the context of worship and the rich variety of other Christian traditions of spirituality and theology, he is helping to shape the future."--Gregory Wolfe, editor, Image: A Journal of the Arts & Religion"Responding to the increasingly visual culture of our time, William Dyrness offers an exceptionally astute and informed discussion of what this cultural shift can mean for art, worship, and Christian faith itself. Taking into account biblical aesthetics and historical church practices, Dyrness dares to hope for a mutual renewal and expansion of artistry and the life of the church. If that transpires, Christians will no longer suppose that art and beauty (or ugliness) are either incidental to life or alien to true religion. Church leaders, artists, and worshipers all need to read and discuss this book together. It contributes insights that are vital to understanding and shaping (both critically and constructively) major changes in culture and worship today."--Frank Burch Brown, Christian Theological Seminary
William A. Dyrness (D.Theol., University of Strasbourg; Doctorandus., Free University, Amsterdam) professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is a former missionary and the author of several books, including The Earth Is God's: A Theology of American Culture; Changing the Mind of Missions: Where Have We Gone Wrong?; Learning About Theology from the Third World; How Does America Hear the Gospel?; Themes in Old Testament Theology and Reformed Theology and Visual Culture.
He is the co-editor of Global Dictionary of Theology. with Veli-Matti Karkkainen and A Primer on Christian Worship: Where We've Been, Where We Are, Where We Can Go. Most recently he has authored Poetic Theology: God and the Poetics of Everyday Life
Koorong -Editorial Review.