The Basics: Art Publications and sources of Articles

by Anna Blanch on March 24, 2011

Journals, magazines, e-zines, and articles related to Christians in the visual arts.

All of Life Redeemed: A site that offers resources and links to the world of scholars, including philosophers and theologians, interested in philosophical aesthetics – including Calvin Seerveld.

ARTS Magazine – ARTS: The Arts in Religious and Theological Studies is the journal of The Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies published by the theology and arts program of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.

Collide Magazine – it has an apt tagline: “Where the media and church converge.” Often thoughtful engagements with contemporary culture and media as it is being used by the church.

CommentArtprovides a resource for exhibitions, public art, art resources, events and education and art related jobs, along with profiles of curators, artists, and exhibition spaces.

Christian Artists ResourceSpecifically asks questions about the relationship between Christian testimony and your art.

Stoneworks – Belhaven College’s visual arts publication and program which focuses on the spiritual and artistic formation of the next generation of Christians in the arts.

First things – Published by the Institute on Religion and Public Life, an interreligious, nonpartisan research and education institute whose purpose is to advance a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society.

God’s Friends – Episcopal publication on Visual Art as Incarnation. Latest issue includes Visual Artists and the Spiritual Life: A Conversation and features the art of Sandra Bowden, Olivia Kuser, Gloria LamsonMichael Mallard, Michael Markowitz,, and Christen Mattix.

Image Journal – A literary and arts quarterly founded in 1989, is a unique forum for the best writing and artwork that is informed by-or grapples with-religious faith. Also offers a range of programs serving artists and art education.

One of the legacies of the modern era has been the secularization of culture. For much of the twentieth century, the belief that God is dead, or at least inaccessible, has stripped a great deal of religious vision and wisdom from the modern imagination. Most of our leading critics and thinkers have been skeptical of, or indifferent to, artistic expressions of religious faith. A culture is governed by its reigning myths. However, in the latter days of the twentieth century, there is an uneasy sense that materialism cannot sustain or nourish our common life. Thankfully, religion and art have always shared the capacity to help us to renew our awareness of the ultimate questions: who we are, where we have come from, and where we are going.
Understandably, religion and art also need each other. When we lack the kind of stimulus which only the imagination can provide, we make it more difficult to live the life of faith. And art, when it sees no creation to celebrate, and no soul in need of nurturing, loses its respect for truth. Clearly, our culture is now more open to the art that engages the age-old tradition of exploring God’s ways with man. Secular ideologies have lost much of their appeal and once again people are hungering for the unifying vision of the religious imagination. This is the context out of which Image has emerged. Living as we do in a fragmented society, the need for cultural renewal is greater than at any time in our history.

Lausanne Congress – Something that may suprise some of you is the “Capetown Commitment to the arts” that has come out of the recent Lausanne congress held there. The following is excerpted from the longer document:

“We long to see the Church in all cultures energetically engaging the arts as a context for mission by:
1) Bringing the arts back into the life of the faith community as a valid and valuable component of our call to discipleship;
2) Supporting those with artistic gifts, especially sisters and brothers in Christ, so that they may flourish in their work;
3) Letting the arts serve as an hospitable environment in which we can acknowledge and come to know the neighbour and the stranger;
4) Respecting cultural differences and celebrating indigenous artistic expression.”

As David Taylor encourages, or the rest of the text, see here and scroll down to “Bearing witness to the truth.” See also this Occasional paper on Redeeming the Arts, which was produced by the Issue Group on this topic at the 2004 Forum is available for download and perusal.

Manifesto: Christians and the Arts – Edited by Craig Bartholomew, this Manifesto is the product of the combined efforts of a group of Christian art educators, art historians, philosophers, theologians and artists of all disciplines who felt the urgent need to provide direction for those who are concerned that God should be glorified in the arts. “Over a period of about four years this group organised a number of conferences to discuss and write this Manifesto.This document is by no means the final, definitive statement in this area. Nevertheless we present this, our loaves and fishes, in this urgent hour with the prayer that the great Imaginer Himself will multiply this vision to his glory in the arts in South Africa and beyond.”

McKenzie Study Center – Articles from McKenzie Study Center (an Institue of Gutenberg College) discussing the arts, media, and literature, along with links to their Student Art Show & Performance.

Rabbit Room – “The Rabbit Room is a place for stories. For artists who believe in the power of old tales, tales as old as the earth itself, who find hope in them and beauty in the shadows and in the light and in the source of the light.”

SalvoMag – A magazine exploring science, culture, religion, philosophy and in their own terms: “Critiquing art, music, film, television, and literature, interrupting mass media influence, and questioning the sanity of our consumerist lifestyle”

Touchstone –  a Christian journal, conservative in doctrine and eclectic in content, with editors and readers from each of the three great divisions of Christendom—Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox. They often include articles about literature and film.


This post was originally published on Transpositions in February 2010 where I am also the Editor of Transpositions Tidbits.

Anna Blanch is founder of Goannatree, and a PhD candidate in the Institute of Theology, Imagination, and the Arts at St Mary’s College, University of St Andrews, Scotland. She is a regular contributor to Transpositions.

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