Monday, September 03, 2012

a faith shaped by art not words

What is the place of art in the church? Here’s a fascinating take by Peter Steele, Professor Emeritus at the University of Melbourne.

“there is no particular reason to suppose that the reading-off of God’s word to humanity had to take the form which, in the western world, it largely did – namely, via philosophically-based theology. The whole affair might have gone differently, so that, for instance, the figures in highest institutional esteem in the Christian community would be artists.” (Peter Steele, in Braiding the Rivers. Essays in Poetry (John Leonard Press, 2012), 33)

(We walked past his abode, Newman Hall, in Melbourne over the weekend). It is a fascinating suggestion – what would have happened to Christianity, if the Christian tradition had been given to artists, not word-smiths?

I think the same thing is being said in the following visual image, this stunning icon that Gary Rutter posted on twitter recently –