Faith and the Arts

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by Gustave Dore for The Divine Comedy

I have been teaching my literature classes that there is an intersection between the culture/art/literature we consume and what we believe. We should approach culture with wonder and imagination, yes, but also critically, with our minds. Here is a page with resources to continue this discussion. Some are links to other sites, some to specific lectures, presentations, or interviews. Most deal additionally with philosophy and other realms of thought.

 

Class Prezi: “Christianity and Literature”

 

Websites:

The Rabbit Room

L’Abri lectures

BeThinking.org

 

Lectures/interviews

“Searching for Truth through Fantasy” by Madeleine L’Engle (author of A Wrinkle in Time)

“Writing from a Christian Worldview” audio lecture by pastor Tim Keller

“A Conversation with Eugene Peterson” interview about the importance of literature in pastoral ministry

Books:

The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, and Charles Williams a biographical sketch of the memorable Christian literary group, the Inklings. More than individual profiles, this work also traces the interchange between these literary greats.

For the Beauty of the Church: Casting a Vision for the Arts a call for the local church to embrace the importance of the arts and their artists.

Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling Andy Crouch’s thoughtful approach to cultural engagement for Christians–being involved in the creative process rather than merely reactionary.

Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture a collection of post 9/11 essays regarding the intersection of faith, art, and culture by Japanese American Makoto Fujimura.

Liberal Arts for the Christian Life a defense of more traditional academic subjects (the humanities) during a cultural crisis in which STEM subjects are often promoted at the expense of a broader education.

The Return of the Prodigal Son Catholic priest Henri Nouwen’s examination of faith and grace (drawn from personal experience) through the lens of Rembrandt’s famous painting.

Beauty Will Save the World: Recovering the Human in an Ideological Age Gregory Wolfe’s defense of Christian humanism, reflectively discussing the faith elements present in less discussed authors such as Evelyn Waugh, Flannery O’Conner, Shusaku Endo, Wendell Berry, and more.

Echoes of Eden: Reflections on Christianity, Literature, and the Arts more accessible than Wolfe’s work (above), it highlights the proper Christian stance towards art and literature and the discusses the specific faith evident in the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, William Shakespeare, and Jane Austen.

Literary Journals:

Image Journal

Ruminate Magazine

Relief Journal