ArtWay

Aesthetic life is as integral to being human as building sandcastles on the beach and giving your children names. Calvin Seerveld

Books

ArtWay List of Books 2019

ArtWay List of Books 2019

Compiled by Victoria Emily Jones

Bœspflug, François, with Emanuela Fogliadini. Crucifixion: La Crucifixion dans l’Art (French). Paris: Bayard, 2019. Richly illustrated in full color, this 560-page book traces the subject of the crucifixion in art across time and cultures, exploring its theological, political, and social implications.

Charlton, Susannah, Elain Harwood, and Clare Price, eds. 100 Churches, 100 Years. Batsford, Gloucestershire, England: Batsford/Pavilion Books, 2019. “This book illustrates and describes 100 churches and chapels built in the UK since 1914, charting the development of buildings for worship. In this period concrete and steel gave a new freedom to construction, while new ideas about how congregations could participate in services changed assumptions about traditional layouts . . .”

Dyrness, William A. The Origins of Protestant Aesthetics in Early Modern Europe: Calvin's Reformation Poetics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019. “Examines intellectual developments in late Medieval Europe, which turned attention away from a narrow range liturgical art and practices and towards a celebration of God’s presence in creation and in history, . . . demonstrate[ing] how the reformers’ conceptual and theological frameworks pertaining to the role of the arts influenced the rise of realistic theater, lyric poetry, landscape painting, and architecture in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.”

Exum, J. Cheryl. Art as Biblical Commentary: Visual Criticism from Hagar the Wife of Abraham to Mary the Mother of Jesus (The Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies). Edinburgh: T&T Clark/Bloomsbury, 2019. About the contributions “visual criticism” as an exegetical tool can make to biblical exegesis and commentary.

Candolini, Gernot, and Jennifer Brandon. Places of Light: The Gift of Cathedrals to the World. Brewster, Massachusetts: Paraclete Press, 2019. An exploration of some of the exemplary cathedrals of Europe and North America, offering glimpses into the spiritual, visionary, and artistic beauty and mastery of these spaces.

Kiely, Robert. Fair Jesus: The Gospels According to Italian Painters 1300–1650. Brewster, Massachusetts: Paraclete Press, 2019. “A visio divina focused upon classic Italian paintings and their scriptural sources. It’s a book born of love—of the art and its Gospel context—but, above all, of the person who illuminates every page.”—Paul J. Contino, Pepperdine University.

King, Roberta R., and William A. Dyrness, eds. The Arts as Witness in Multifaith Contexts (Missiological Engagements). Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Academic, 2019. “Building on sessions at the 2018 Missiology Lectures at Fuller Seminary, this book explores the crucial role of the arts in helping people from different cultures and faiths get caught up in the gospel story. Scholars and practitioners from throughout the world present historical and contemporary case studies and analyses.”

Kresser, Katie. Bezalel’s Body: The Death of God and the Birth of Art. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books/Wipf and Stock, 2019. Kresser weaves together centuries of art history, philosophy, theology, psychology, and art theory to uncover the deep spiritual foundations of this cultural form we call “art.” “Why do some people pay hundreds of millions of dollars for a single painting? Why are art museums almost like modern temples? The answer lies in Christian theology and the earliest forms of Christian image making.”

Lowther, Roger. The Broken Leaf: Meditations on Art, Life, and Faith in Japan. Eugene, Oregon: Resource Publications/Wipf and Stock, 2019. These ten meditations, by an American missionary artist to Japan, invite readers to explore the beauty and gospel images found in Japanese art and culture.

Miller, Stephen. The Book of Angels: Seen and Unseen. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019. “Explores depictions of angels in the visual arts and in scripture and associated apocryphal and mystical writings, specifically in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles and Islamic, Zoroastrian and other ancient and latter-day accounts.”

Reddaway, Chloë. Strangeness and Recognition: Mystery and Familiarity in Renaissance Paintings of Christ (Arts and the Sacred). Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2019. Explores the possibilities of painting Christ, a figure both fully human and fully divine. “These personal exchanges lead through estrangement to the rediscovery of the familiar within the strange and the renewed within the familiar, and to the ultimately unspeakable, unpaintable, mystery of the Incarnation.”

Rosen, Aaron. Brushes with Faith: Reflections and Conversations on Contemporary Art. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books/Wipf and Stock, 2019. Rosen’s essays and interviews examine how contemporary artists are engaging more deeply than ever with religious imagery, themes, practices, and audiences. Contains 70+ color images.

Salvadori, Sara. Hildegard von Bingen: A Journey into the Images. Milan: Skira, 2019. The first visionary work of art by the twelfth-century German abbess and polymath Hildegard von Bingen was Scivias, taken from a Latin phrase meaning “Know the ways of the Lord.” In it Hildegard describes 26 of her visions and created 35 accompanying illustrations, dealing with creation, salvation, sanctification, the tension between good and evil, and the coming kingdom of God. Here all 35 of these images are reproduced in full color and in their original size alongside an accompanying key that decodes their symbols and themes.

Seubert, Xavier, and Olga Bychkov, eds. Aesthetic Theology in the Franciscan Tradition: The Senses and Experience of God in Art (Routledge Research in Art and Religion). New York: Routledge, 2019. Concepts gleaned from Franciscan textual sources are applied to create a deeper understanding of how art in all its sensual forms was foundational to the Franciscan milieu.

Taylor, W. David O. Glimpses of the New Creation: Worship and the Formative Power of the Arts. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2019. “Argues that the arts form us in worship by bringing us into intentional and intensive participation in the aesthetic aspect of our humanity—that is, our physical, emotional, imaginative, and metaphorical capacities. In so doing they invite the people of God to be conformed to Christ and to participate in the praise of Christ and in the praise of creation, which by the Spirit’s power raises its peculiar voice to the Father in heaven, for the sake of the world that God so loves.”

Verdon, Timothy, ed. Art and Theology in Ecumenical Perspective. Brewster, Massachusetts: Paraclete Press, 2019. Containing papers read in a five-part conference held in France, Italy, and the US in 2017, this book brings together Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, and Anglican theologians, art historians, and artists with a range of methodological viewpoints, providing an “agora” experience of faith-based reactions to human creativity and communication.

Wijnia, Lieke. Beyond the Return of Religion: Art and the Postsecular. London: Brill, 2019. Rather than framing artistic concerns with religion as a recurrence after temporary absence, Wijnia shows how the postsecular allows for seeing the interaction between art and religion as an enduring, albeit transforming relationship of a mutual nature. 

Williams, Peter W. Religion, Art, and Money: Episcopalians and American Culture from the Civil War to the Great Depression. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019, 2016. “Williams traces how the church helped transmit a European-inflected artistic patronage that was adapted to the American scene by clergy and laity intent upon providing moral and aesthetic leadership for a society in flux.”

Worley, Taylor. Memento Mori in Contemporary Art: Theologies of Lament and Hope (Studies in Theology, Imagination and the Arts). New York: Routledge, 2019. “Explores how four contemporary artists—Francis Bacon, Joseph Beuys, Robert Gober, and Damien Hirst—pursue the question of death through their fraught appropriations of Christian imagery. Each artist is shown to not only pose provocative theological questions, but also to question the abilities of theological speech to adequately address current attitudes to death.”