Art is the signature of man. G.K. Chesterton

Conferences and Events in 2020


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27 May – 29 May, 2020, Aarhus University Conference Center, Fredrik Nielsens Vej 2-4, Aarhus: 10th Annual RefoRC Conference on Early Modern Christianity. The European reformations meant major changes in theology, religion, and everyday life. Some changes were immediate and visible in a number of countries: monasteries were dissolved, new liturgies were introduced, and married pastors were ordained, other more hidden. Theologically, as well as practically the position of the church in the society changed dramatically, but differently according to confession and political differences. The aim of this conference is to discuss how lived religion and everyday life and space were formed in the aftermath of the reformation, and how we can trace changes in material culture, in emotions, in social structures, in culture, which may be linked to the reformation and the development of confessional cultures. The conference is open to individual short paper presentations (20-minute presentations). Short paper submissions are welcome before March 1, 2020 via the online registration form.

4 June – 7 June, Maltfabrikken, S. A. Jensens Vej, Ebeltoft: European Conference of Cultural and Creative Spaces. What kinds of impact are cultural organisations making? How are they contributing to a more diverse, just and inclusive society? How can they co-create positive societal change? How are they monitoring their own footprint? And what are the most effective ways to communicate these impacts? This is the essence of what we will be exploring together in Ebeltoft, Denmark in June 2020.



24 February, 17 h, Trinity College, Broad St, Oxford: Bible in Art, Music, and Literature Seminars. Organised by the Centre for the Reception History of the Bible. Convenor, Dr Christine Joynes. Dr Sheona Beaumont (King’s College, London): Pick & mix: The non-linear Bible as modern artists visualise it.

24 February, 18.30 h, The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, London: Holy Ground: A series of lectures exploring art, faith and ecology. Rupert Sheldrake, biologist. Pilgrimage is deeply archetypal and found in almost all traditions.  It is also undergoing an astonishing revival in Europe at present. Rupert Sheldrake will talk about its history, the revival of pilgrimage in Britain and the nature of holy places as portals between heaven and earth.

2 March, 19 - 21 h, Husk Coffee & Creative Space, 649-651 Commercial Rd, Limehouse, London: Morphe Make Good Talk, Sara Schumacher. Monthly event critically dialoguing between contemporary art practice and Christian faith.

3 March, 10 – 17 h, Church Mission Society, Watlington Road, Oxford: For Art’s Sake. A day of creative conversations on art, theology and mission. A phenomenal group of creatively minded practitioners and artists are coming to share their stories, artistry and practice with us at CMS on 3 March for our annual Pioneer Conversations Day - For Art's Sake. It will be a day full of practical workshops, performances and experiences. The arts have a unique ability to create pathways, platforms and space to engage, heal, and articulate deep and meaningful truths – something that’s particularly helpful to those of us involved in pioneer ministry. Light is shed through the arts in some of the darkest, seemingly hopeless or uninterested places – what a gift! Follow this link to book a ticket to the day.

6 March, 9.30 – 17.30 h, Little Ship Club, Upper Thames Street, London: Symposium on 'Devotional Objects. Organised by the Icon Gilding & Decorative Surfaces Group, this symposium brings together conservation and non-conservation professionals with an interest in the preservation of objects that carry intrinsic sacred value. Talks will investigate the role of the conservator, the relevance of source communities, the influence of host institutions or private owners, and ethical consideration involved in the preservation of artefacts and collections intended for worship. Proposals for papers still being considered.,6PWPW,EGJWB1,QTTBO,1

9 March, 15.45h, Ashmolean Museum, Beaumont Street, Oxford: Biblical Art in Oxford series. An Van Camp of the Ashmolean Museum: Rembrandt and the Bible. Registration for this final lecture is essential, numbers are strictly limited.  Please note the different location and time. To register, please email: ;

31 March, 18.30 h, The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, London: Holy Ground: A series of lectures exploring art, faith and ecology. Jes Fernie, curator. How should we live in the 21st century? What is the Church’s role in developing alternative approaches to urban development? How can artists contribute to this discussion? Jes Fernie will consider the ways in which these questions are being addressed through Råängen, an ambitious, long term programme of commissions and public events run by Lund Cathedral, in southern Sweden.

6 April, 19 - 21 h, Husk Coffee & Creative Space, 649-651 Commercial Rd, Limehouse, London: Morphe Make Good Talk, Beside Ourselves Collective. Monthly event critically dialoguing between contemporary art practice and Christian faith.

14 April – 18 April 2020, The Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield, West Yorkshire: Byzantine Icon Painting Retreat. This five-day workshop will be woven into the prayerful fabric of the Monastery's daily offices. Participants will learn the traditional and ancient techniques of the Byzantine Masters, including 'water gilding ', with 24 carat gold leaf over clay and how to make and use pigments made fresh each day in the studio from natural mineral colours and eggs. No previous experience is required. Cost from £660.00 includes all materials and full board.

18 March, 11 – 16 h, Wessex Learning Centre, Winchester Cathedral, 8A The Cl, Winchester: The Annunciation: A Pilgrim’s Quest. Study day with Lay Canon Mark Byford, who spent three years speaking to senior clerics, world renowned theologians, art historians and artists about the significance of the annunciation story and the impact it has made on their own lives, inspired by a painting hanging in the National Gallery, on loan from Winchester College.

20 April, 18.30 h, The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, London: Holy Ground: A series of lectures exploring art, faith and ecology. Alison Milbank, theologian. The act of pilgrimage is not just a journey to a holy place but an acknowledgement that all the earth we walk on is sacred. This talk will explore the thought of the German Romantic poet and theorist, Novalis, as a resource to help us raise the world to full participation by what he called magic idealism. Paintings by Caspar David Friedrich and contemporary work by Anselm Kiefer and Olafur Eliasson will demonstrate this spiritual psychogeography.



23 March – 25 March 2020, Herrenhausen Palace, Herrenhäuser Strasse 5, Hannover: Reusing churches – New perspectives in a European Comparison. Travel Grants available! Experts from Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Great Britain will meet to discuss the issue of reusing church buildings for the first time from a European comparative view. The intention is to develop new perspectives. Church buildings are important testimonies of cultural heritage that shape the image of cities and villages. As a result of current social changes, many church buildings in Europe can no longer be operated and maintained by church institutions. They are sold, rented, converted. The topic is complex and has so far been discussed mainly at local and regional level. For the first time, the Herrenhausen Symposium brings together experts from Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Great Britain with the aim of exchanging experiences, expanding the field of vision and developing new perspectives in European comparison. The country-specific differences in legal and financial terms have led to different practices of church conversions. Examples, methods and solutions from different countries will be compared and discussed from different perspectives. In particular, these are the perspectives of cultural studies and theology, architecture and urban development, protection of monuments, users, the real estate business, the public and the rural areas. The target audience are persons responsible in church, monument preservation and politics, academics, members of educational institutions and all those interested in the topic. The symposium addresses an expanded public, convinced that churches are public buildings that ultimately belong to the public. Previously there will be a design workshop for students of architecture and theology on a current church project for the future. The results of the workshop will be presented during the symposium. Please find the poster for the workshop under downloads. The symposium will be held in German as well as in English. German presentations will be translated simultaneously.



20 June – 29 June 2020, Barga, Florence, Bologna, Loreto: Sacred Sites. The Holy Land in the Heart of Italy. Christians have always felt deep reverence for the places where Jesus lived, died and rose. Medieval and Renaissance believers, for whom the Jerusalem pilgrimage was very difficult, focused their piety on reconstructions of Holy Land sites, and especially of the Lord’s Sepulchre, the mysterious origin of our Easter faith. Join Mons. Timothy Verdon, Alexei Lidov and Fr. Martin Shannon, in June 2020 for a week-long study trip and retreat exploring some of these sacred sites in Italy, offering an overview of this remarkable phenomenon. The visits to these holy places of pilgrimage will be accompanied by moments of shared reflection, prayer and discussion. The entire tour will be seasoned with the taste of Italian cuisine and highlighted by the beauty of the Italian countryside.

16 July – 6 August, Orvieto.: Art in Orvieto. The Institute for Christian Studies offers an advanced summer studies in art, religion, and theology located in Orvieto, Italy, a magnificent hill town just north of Rome. Deadline to apply is March 31. The program is an ecumenical exploration of the arts through a three-week residency designed for artists, graduate students, and others interested in the intersection of art, religion and theology.

22 August – 29 August, Meran, South Tyrol: Mountain Experience. From time to time we need to go up the mountaintop, to get out of our daily routine and be impressed by the beauty, presence and wisdom of God. This is an opportunity to be refreshed and revived for everything we face in ministry and in our lives. For this reason Crescendo International created Mountain Experience for musicians and other artists. Come and enjoy the beautiful nature and fellowship, relax, play music, create new art and refresh your relationship with God! This week-long retreat is an opportunity to learn about God and catch a vision for how He uses art and artists to change the world according to His purposes.



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27 February, 19 – 21 h, Trinity Western University, Auditorium, North West Building (#26 on campus map), 7600 Glover Rd, Langley, BC: Erica Grimm Full Professor Inaugural Lecture “Skin Boats + Paying Attention: Aesthetic Intersubjectivity in Precarious Times”. In an age of ecological precarity, subjectivity has never been more important. Distanced from nature and dismissive of sensory perception, large parts of the population experience these by-products of modernity as inevitable. Convinced this contributes to many of the entwined crises of climate change, recent social sciences and humanities scholarship has embraced subjectivity with new curiosity and seriousness. Art, like many embodied, material and active forms of research methodologies, not only acknowledges, but exercises subjectivity. This lecture extends the argument by situating art as a methodology well suited to help recover a collective subjectivity that is in communion/community with the more-than-human. Erica Grimm, Ph.D. is a Canadian artist and Professor of Art in the School of the Arts, Media + Culture at Trinity Western University. Her material practice explores the entangled territory between aesthetics, ecology, ethics, science and art, and her written practice considers the epistemological and pedagogical implications of the process of making. 

17 April – 18 April, Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave. Toronto, Ontario: CIVA JUST, art Indigenous. The history between Christians and Indigenous peoples has been marked by tragedy and heartbreak. JUST, art Indigenous invites you into a conversation of reconciliation and collaboration with the visual arts as our starting point, including firsthand excursions with local indigenous groups. Please join us as we gather for two days in Toronto for a time of listening, learning, and creating together.



6 March – 7 March 2020, 3310 15th Ave West, Seattle, WA: The Ordo Conference. God’s Singular Story. Our Many Expressions. The Seattle Pacific University Center for Worship and Fuller Seminary’s Brehm Center invite you to Seattle for the Ordo Conference in which attendees will “explore how the creative arts in worship can help us make meaning of our own stories in light of God’s Story of redemption in Christ.”

20 March – 22 March, 2020, The Chicago Theological Seminary, 1407 E. 60th Street, Chicago, IL: 2020 Theopoetics Conference organized by ARC (A Creative Collaborative for Theopoetics). A gathering for those whose interests live at — or near — the intersection of justice-seeking religious reflection with spirituality, imagination, the arts, and embodiment. The interplay of these areas with one another has come to be named as theopoetics, the focus of the event. Organized for theological scholars, religious practitioners, performers, and/or those who are all three, this conference will be a mix of academic discussions, facilitated dialogue, performance, and workshops focused on developing practices that can be taken back to share with our communities of support and accountability.

26 July 2020 – 1 August 2020, St. John’s College, Santa Fe, New Mexico: Glen Workshop. Whether you’re a longtime Glen Workshop attendee or you’re hearing of it for the first time, Image invites for a week that will leave its mark on your creative work, spiritual journey, and friendships for years to come. At the Glen, daily morning workshops offer artists at all skill levels opportunities to develop their craft in a wide variety of genres with acclaimed faculty. Meanwhile, morning seminars offer substantive conversation and engagement with art, mystery, and faith.



16 July 2020 – 19 July, 2020, The Centre for Theology & Ministry, 29 College Crescent, Parkville, Victoria: Vision, Voice and Vocation. Art/s and Theology Australia will hold its first conference. This four-day event will provide a unique conversation space for artists, performers, creatives, academics, and activists, to consider the vital role of the imagination in today’s complex climates – social, cultural, environmental, political, racial, religious, spiritual, intellectual, etc. It will also invite conversation around further questions: What kinds of change? What are the grounds and manner of hope, transformation, and resilience? What might the arts and theology have to contribute to such discourse and action, if anything? How do we attend to the margins of this discussion, and speak and act more holistically as communities of change?

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