Mission set in stone

Spent all morning talking with students about the things we can learn about European thought (religious and secular) from its art history. We’ve moved from cave art to Vivienne Westwood’s so-called ‘bondage pants’, from icons to Dali, via van Gogh and Carravagio, etc.

Each of them gives us some insight into how the artist, as a mirror to their contemporaries, sees the world, themselves, and their understanding of God’s relationship to the world and humanity. Some of the art was intended to tell the Gospel story, some of it sets out to undermine the Gospel, much of the post-Reformation art simply assumes humanity’s liberation from the constraints of Christian belief and assumptions.

We ran out of time to discus the relationship that exists (or doesn’t exist) between contemporary art ¬†and mission in Europe. Is there one? Does art pose the questions or answer them? Is art diminished when it’s associated with the mission of God or is it elevated by the association? Shame we ran out of time. Hopefully the conversations will continue.

For more details about the European mission short courses on offer at Redcliffe, you can check the programmes at http://www.redcliffe.org

Explore posts in the same categories: art, europe, Gospel, mission

2 Comments on “Mission set in stone”

  1. Chuck Kelley Says:

    Hello Darrel and friends at Nova. Thanks for this piece on European art and mission. What a splendid photo! You might be interested in something I put on my own art blog a few days ago. It is called ‘Why Beauty Matters” and it a series of six BBC Scotland videos by Roger Scruton. Simply fantastic.

    Be patient. The page may take a little time to load, especially is one is using Explorer as a browser.

    http://www.charlesdavidkelley.com/painter/Chucks_art_blog_%E2%80%93_%22Out_of_My_Mind%22/Entries/2010/3/1_Why_Beauty_Matters.html

    Warm greetings,
    Chuck Kelley


    • Hi Chuck,
      Thanks for the post. The image you refer to was something put together in Photoshop and is actually a church window illuminating madonna (pop idol not mother of Jesus!). The question it’s intended to provoke is about the relationship of historical icon to contemporary icon and which one illuminates the other. Other readings are possible…
      Was also really struck be recent BBC repeat of their ‘Yellowstone’ mini-series in which natural beauty is well matched by filmographic beauty.


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