Art and Soul

ISBN 978 0953575 77 0
240 pages.
Published 15/4/2014

£11.88 - £15.00

Paperback, PDF

More Christians than ever before are studying and working in music, painting, sculpture, theater, television, film, architecture and more. They face the challenge of working in a way that is both wholly Christian and wholly contemporary.

This practical guide encourages artists and those interested in the arts to develop a Christian worldview from which they can approach their crafts. Here the best teaching on the subject  over the last fifty years is digested and reapplied, supported by a wealth of quotes from artists, critics and Christian thinkers. 

A wide range of illustrations, both historical and contemporary, illuminates the text as  the authors explore the conflicting influences on Christians entering the arts. They correlate the major biblical themes of creation, fall and redemption to the business of making art. The nature and purpose of the arts are examined along with the way we experience and interpret them. Finally, readers are given practical guidelines on practicing and developing their art. This book raises significant issues for people who are serious about art and Christianity.

ADRIENNE CHAPLIN studied philosophy and music in Amsterdam, taught philosophical aesthetics at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, and now works as an independent writer and speaker in Cambridge, UK. HILARY BRAND is a British author and freelance photographer. Her books include the Lent courses Chocolate for Lent and The Power of Small Choices, Not a Tame Lion and The King’s Speech, as well as What Am I Doing Here?, a beginner’s guide to church.

Everything about this book by Hilary Brand and Adrienne Chaplin rings true. It is written  with verve, sparkles with inside artistic knowledge and simultaneously breathes a generous  love for the reader. These authors know the contemporary art world intimately and have  respect for artistry well done. They also have a no-nonsense way of giving Christians at large help in understanding a God-ordained task for artistry.”

from the foreword by Calvin Seerveld, Senior Member Emeritus in Philosophical Aesthetics,  

Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto

“[Art and Soul] serves equally well for neophytes in the arts, mature artists who wish to make the vitality of the arts known to non-artists, or practicing artists of faith who wish to reconnect with their Christian roots. That makes Art and Soul an invaluable resource in the classroom or the church hall.”

Karen Mulder, Arts Editor, Christianity Today Magazine and co-founder, Christians in the Arts Net-working, USA

“This is a book that needed to be written and I thoroughly recommend it, not only to those who work in the arts but to all Christians who wish to understand and appreciate our artistic heritage … it explodes the myth that ‘art’ is not for Christians.”

Marion Field, Association of Christian Writers, UK

“I have used Art and Soul as a text for a senior seminar in the visual arts … anyone involved in music, theatre, film or the visual arts will find here a wealth of stimulating material for inspiration and discus-sion on a variety of levels.”

Joanna Alberda, Professor of Art, Dordt College, Iowa, USA

“[Art and Soul] is well written, readable and contemporary.”

Iain McKillop, UK painter and art teacher

“[Art and Soul] is a unique, important and dare I say essential addition to the too few books available on the subject of Christianity and the arts. … It pioneers several new paths, all which will inspire the artist to think and to dream well. … This is an exceptional book.”

Charlie Peacock-Ashworth, US singer/songwriter

“This is a well-written response to the situation of working in the arts in current post-modern society and working out of a Christian worldview. The usefulness of the book has been enhanced by extensive illustrations of contemporary British artists.”

Rod Pattenden, Pastor and professional artist, Australia

“More than anything, this is a book that addresses where we are now. It will help you understand what’s going on in the Turner Prize show – and it will give you an insight into how some significant and creative Christian artists are grappling biblically with the culture of the millennium.”

David Porter, UK writer

“Hilary Brand and Adrienne Chaplin serve us well with their critical insights into the opportunities and ordeals of art and art making. Art and Soul responsibly engages the realities faced by both contemporary makers and receivers of the visual arts.”

Charles Young, Professor of Art, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, USA

“This is an important volume because the authors have identified the gulf that exists for Christians in the arts between the key tenets of the gospel and the hostile reality of our cultural climate.”

Mark Cazalet, UK artist

“The most comprehensive exploration of arts from an evangelical Christian perspective.”

Charles Beach, Associate Professor of English, Nyack College, USA

“Art and Soul is a great encouragement. Here is a practical guide that is peppered with sensibly applied experience and helpful quotations.”

Cilla Lloyd, UK artist printmaker

“Art and Soul presents Christian art in the here and now: speculative, questioning and dangerous.” Fred Folsom, US artist

Preface vii

Foreword by Calvin Seerveld ix

Foreword by Graham Cray xi

Introduction xiii

Part 1: Deconstructed, Disillusioned and Distrusted: Conflicting influences on the Christian artist

1 Art in a post-modern age 3

2 Art and the quest for the spiritual 16

3 Art and a suspicious church 25

Part 2: Garden, Serpent and Sacrifice: Returning to primary sources

4 Art and the Bible 37

5 Art and a playful God 40

6 Art and a fallen world 48

7 Art and the possibility of redemption 57

Part 3: Worldview, Worship and the Work of Art: Applying the Bible to some basic art issues

8 Art and an integrated worldview 67

9 Art as a valid Christian activity 69

10 Art as a means of worship 79

11 Art in its rightful place 88

Part 4: Seeing, Weighing and Interpreting:

Some attempts at definition and pointers for assessment

12 Art and a way of seeing 99

13 Art and blurred boundaries 110

14 Art and how it works 123

15 Art and interpretation 136

Part 5: Rooted, Respectful and Real:

Some ways forward for Christians in the arts

16 Art and new technology 151

17 Art as honest labour 158

18 Art as a proper job 166

19 Art as a twenty-first century calling 176

Notes 189

List of Illustrations 207

Further Reading 211

Useful Contacts 213

Index 217

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