Senses of the Soul explores the way art and visual elements are incorporated into Christian worship. It incorporates research conducted in Los Angeles congregations. Through extensive interviews in a sample of Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox congregations it looks into the way visual elements actually become part of the experience of worship. By looking at attitudes and experiences of beauty, art, and memories, it suggests that believers appropriate images and aesthetic encounters in terms of imaginative structures that have been formed through worship practices over time. By comparing responses across denominations, the book proposes that people receive visual elements in ways that have been shaped by long traditions and specific background beliefs. In addition to discussions of the differences between the major Christian traditions, the book also examines the relation of art and beauty to worship, the role of memories and everyday life, and the power of images in spirituality and worship.
By its focus on the worshiper, the book seeks to make a contribution to the growing conversation between the arts and Christian worship and to the process of worship renewal.