The Art of God and the Religions of Art

By David Thistlethwaite

Foreword by Richard Kenton Webb

The Art of God and the Religions of Art

paperback-logo

  • ISBN: 9781556357213
  • Pages: 198
  • Publication Date: 4/1/2008
  • Retail Price: $25.00
Web Price: $20.00
Web Price: $20.00

The Art of God and the Religions of Art

By David Thistlethwaite

Foreword by Richard Kenton Webb

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781556357213
  • Pages: 198
  • Publication Date: 4/1/2008
  • Retail Price: $25.00
Web Price: $20.00

About-

The Art of God traces the progressive loss in the West of contact with, or faith in, a real created order, and discusses the manifestations of this loss in fine art. Making detailed reference to specific artists and works, Thistlewaite shows how the diversity ofour responses to modern art, as well as that of previous centuries, inescapably raises the question of truth.

This readable and thought-provoking book breaks new ground as it links the pleasures of art to the dynamic character of God, and asks what happens to creativity and to artists when the appreciation of God is absent. It thus offers readers a fresh perspective from which to appreciate art.

FROM THE AUTHOR : June 23, 2009

All art historians must find a way of explaining the gap between the 'traditional' art and modern. Older art answered questions such as 'what was Henry VIII like?' The new is not so much about the world as about the breakdown in perceiving the world. But some histories are still written as if art has followed a path of inevitable progress. Others, as if all beliefs that produce genuine art, however weird, are equally valid.
 
In my book, I argue that modernism has produced a genuine art that grapples with perceived reality, but that its real lack of content is disastrous. When we see objects that are essentially blank or empty, and start to find them significant and powerful, we ought to be getting worried. To explain this, I have developed an account of art which sees it as a given, and delightful, form of knowing that equips us for living in God's world. But when the 'art area' becomes part of the human agenda for unbelief, independence, and defining ourselves in the cosmos, it ceases to be a window on reality. It starts to function as a totem replacing thought: a sub-human icon for humanity
 
However, towards the end of the book I focus on the dynamism of the living God and the transformative power of his grace that can turn any modern 'form', however desolate, into a vehicle of truth and meaning. When modernism plunges into the depths of 'not-knowing', it can seldom go so far that real humanity and truth are not discovered in the unlikeliest places.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"For anyone who cares about the visual arts in today's culture, this is essential reading. David Thistlewaite combines the learning of years of reading and reflection with a passion for the practical and down-to-earth. It is gracious, engaging, and rich in wisdom. I commend it warmly."
--Jeremy Begbie
Director, Theology Through the Arts
Centre for Advanced Religious and Theological Studies, University of Cambridge

"Here is a book on art and religion that is mercifully free of art-speak. Unlike any recieved notion of fundamentalists that one might have, the writer David Thistlewaited is sophisticated, highly literate, and intellectually able to fight his corner for his faith. Although, for the moment at least, i do not necessarily share all of the writer's beliefs, I welcome this book for the opportunity it allows to look critically at art through the eyes of a thoughtful Christian."
--Michael Sandle
FRBS

Contributors-

David Thistlethwaite
Richard Kenton Webb

Bio(s)-

David Thistlethwaite read Art History at Cambridge, spent four years with Old Master and Modern British art in a leading Bond Street, London, gallery, before returning to Cambridge to do research. As well as writing and speaking on art and faith, David is a painter of landscape and portraits (see www.artinthecountry.co.uk) and currently works for The John Ray Initiative, a Christian environmental charity based in Cheltenham, England.

Our ImprintsExplore our different imprints . . .-

View Our Publishing Partners »
Explore our different imprints . . . View Our Publishing Partners »
© 2016 Wipf and Stock Publishers. All Rights Reserved.