Quality is the first norm for art, but its final norm is love and truth, the enriching of human life, the deepening of our vision.


ArtWay List of Books 2016


compiled by Victoria Emily Jones

The Great Book of Contemporary Stained Glass, Glanzlichter der Welt • Lumières du Monde • Lights of the World (text in German, French and English), Centre international du Vitrail – Chartres, 2016. This book is the most comprehensive work published about this type of art. It gives a panorama of the glass art by 286 contemporary stained glass artists of different cultures and techniques.

The Illuminated Book of Psalms: The Illustrated Text of All 150 Prayers and Hymns. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal, 2015. The Book of Psalms is married together with artwork from medieval manuscripts and intricate borders to create a beautiful jewel of a book produced with a silk cover, flexible binding, and ribbon marker, in the style of an illuminated keepsake.

Anderson, Cameron J. The Faithful Artist: A Vision for Evangelicalism and the Arts (Studies in Theology and the Arts). Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2016. Tracing the relationship between evangelicalism and modern art in postwar America, Anderson considers how Christian artists can faithfully pursue their vocational calling in contemporary culture.

Anderson, Jonathan A. and William A. Dyrness. Modern Art and the Life of a Culture: The Religious Impulses of Modernism (Studies in Theology and the Arts). Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2016. In response to Hans Rookmaaker’s groundbreaking Modern Art and the Death of a Culture the authors argue that there were actually strong religious impulses that positively shaped modern visual art.

Barrie, Thomas, Julio Bermudez, and Phillip James Tabb (eds.). Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality. London: Routledge, 2015. Architecture has long been understood as a cultural discipline able to articulate the human condition and lift the human spirit, yet the spirituality of architecture is rarely directly addressed in academic scholarship. This book redresses that void. Although representing a range of disciplines and theoretical positions, all the authors of this volume share interests in the need to rediscover, redefine, or reclaim the sacred in everyday experience, scholarly analysis, and design. 

Baskind, Samantha. Jewish Artists and the Bible in Twentieth-Century America. University Park, Pennsylvania: Penn State University Press, 2014. Demonstrates how artists Jack Levine, George Segal, Audrey Flack, Larry Rivers, R. B. Kitaj, and more customized the biblical narrative in extraordinary ways to address modern issues such as genocide and the Holocaust, gender inequality, assimilation and the immigrant experience, and the establishment and fate of the modern State of Israel.

Bergmann, Sigurd. In the Beginning is the Icon: A Liberative Theology of Images, Visual Arts and Culture. London: Routledge, 2016. Iconology, art theory, philosophical aesthetics, art history, and anthropology are integrated with rigorous theological reflection to argue that the creation and observation of pictures can have a liberating effect on humanity.

Berry, Carol. Vincent van Gogh: His Spiritual Vision in Life and Art (Modern Spiritual Masters). Maryknoll, New York: Orbis, 2015. This spiritual biography of Vincent van Gogh follows him from his early efforts to become a missionary and lay minister through his decisive break with organized religion and subsequent development as an artist, a vocation through which he found a new way to express his solidarity and compassion for humanity and to awaken people to the sacred depths of reality.

Bowden, Sandra and Marianne Lettieri. Seeing the Unseen: Launching and Managing a Church Gallery. Madison, Wisconsin: Christians in the Visual Arts, 2015. A handbook on how to establish and run a church art gallery, addressing practical concerns like lighting, framing, funding, artist contracts, openings, storage, and so on. Three possible models are discussed at the outset: congregational focus, faith community focus, or public focus.

Brown, Frank Burch (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the Arts. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. Offers thirty-six original essays by an international team of leading scholars on the main topics, issues, methods, and resources for the study of religious and theological aesthetics.

Bustard, Ned. Revealed: A Storybook Bible for Grown-Ups. Baltimore, Maryland: Square Halo Books, 2016. A collection of over 130 prints ranging from medieval to contemporary (some commissioned for this book) that illustrate the more raw, violent, and sexy portions of scripture, with commentary.

Chatterjee, Paroma. The Living Icon in Byzantium and Italy: The Vita Image, Eleventh to Thirteenth Centuries. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014. The first book to explore the emergence and function of a novel pictorial format in the Middle Ages: the vita icon, which displayed the magnified portrait of a saint framed by scenes from his or her life.

DeBoer, Lisa. Visual Arts in the Worshiping Church (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2016. Uncovers how actual congregations across the three main branches of Christianity—Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant—engage the arts and why they engage them the way they do.

De Hulster, Izaak J., Brent A. Strawn , and Ryan P. Bonfiglio (eds.). Iconographic Exegesis of the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament: An Introduction to Its Theory, Method, and Practice. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht , 2015. Biblical texts and themes are examined through the interpretive lens of ancient visual art to facilitate greater understanding of how the original authors and audiences of scripture saw, thought, and made sense of the world.

Dietz, Feike, et al. (ed.). Illustrated Religious Texts in the North of Europe, 1500-1800. London: Routledge, 2014. Expands the historical appreciation of the place of imagery in post-Reformation Europe by analyzing the use, re-use and sharing of illustrated religious texts in England, France, the Low Countries, the German States, and Switzerland. Through case studies and theoretical contributions, the book shows how the most basic binaries of the early modern world—Catholic and Protestant, word and image, public and private—were disrupted and negotiated in the realm of the illustrated religious book. 

Dillenberger, Jane Daggett and John Handley. The Religious Art of Pablo Picasso. Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2014. The first critical examination of Pablo Picasso's use of religious imagery and the religious import of many of his works with secular subject matter.

Fischer, G. Tyler (ed.). Teaching Beauty: A Vision for Music and Art in Christian Education. Baltimore, Maryland: Square Halo Books, 2016. A number of prominent Christian thinkers, artists, musicians, and educators weigh in on how to build a vision for the fine arts in Christian education.

Fromont, Cécile. The Art of Conversion: Christian Visual Culture in the Kingdom of Kongo. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press, 2014. Examines the advent of Kongo Christian visual culture and traces its development across four centuries (the sixteenth through nineteenth) marked by war, the Atlantic slave trade, and, finally, the rise of European colonialism.

Fujimura, Makoto. Silence and Beauty: Hidden Faith Born of Suffering. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2016. Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence takes internationally renowned visual artist Makoto Fujimura on a pilgrimage of grappling with the nature of art, the significance of pain, and his own cultural heritage. His artistic faith journey overlaps with Endo’s as he uncovers deep layers of meaning in Japanese history and literature, expressed in art both past and present. 

Gaudio, Michael. The Bible and the Printed Image in Early Modern England: Little Gidding and the Pursuit of Scriptural Harmony (Visual Culture in Early Modernity). London: Routledge, 2016. This study demonstrates the ongoing vitality of religious prints in seventeenth-century England through the lens of the Ferrar-Collet family’s handmade Gospel-books (the “Little Gidding concordances”). The women from this family selected works from the family’s collection of Catholic religious prints, then cut and pasted them along with Bible verse excisions into artful collages. The coherence of printed scripture, the nature of sovereignty, the relevance of the Mosaic law, and the Protestant reform of images in pre–civil war England are among the issues explored. The book expands our understanding of the ways an early modern Protestant community could productively engage with the religious image. 

Glaspey, Terry. 75 Masterpieces Every Christian Should Know: The Fascinating Stories behind Great Works of Art, Literature, Music, and Film. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 2015. From the art of the Roman catacombs to Rembrandt to Makoto Fujimura; from Gregorian chant to Bach to U2; from John Bunyan and John Donne to Flannery O’Connor and Frederick Buechner; this book unveils the rich and varied artistic heritage left by believers who were masters at their craft.

Hart, Trevor. Making Good: Creation, Creativity, and Artistry. Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press, 2014. Brings biblical theology into conversation with philosophy, aesthetics, and developments in creative theory among the social sciences, rendering a theological account of human artistry and the wider human activities of making good.

Jones, Beth Felker and Jeffrey W. Barbeau (eds.). The Image of God in an Image Driven Age. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2016. The essays “Culture Breaking: In Praise of Iconoclasm” by Matthew J. Milliner and “What Does It Mean to See Someone? Icons and Identity” by Ian A. McFarland join ten others in this exploration of the imago Dei doctrine, which, as Milliner and McFarland show, has implications for visual imagery.

Kilby, Clyde S. The Arts and the Christian Imagination: Essays on Art, Literature, and Aesthetics. Brewster, Massachusetts: Paraclete Press, 2016. Editors William Dyrness and Keith Call bring together the writings of the late American evangelical scholar Clyde Kilby on the arts, aesthetics, and beauty.

Koestlé-Cate, Jonathan. Art and the Church: A Fractious Embrace: Ecclesiastical Encounters with Contemporary Art. London: Routledge, 2016. Combines conceptual analysis, critical case studies, and practical application in a rigorous exploration of church-based art of the past twenty-five years.

Mann, Douglas C. The Art of Helping Others: How Artists Can Serve God and Love the World. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2014. Mining his experiences as a missionary, a music industry professional, and a visual artist, Mann calls Christian artists of all disciplines to a life of creative incitement to the glory of God.

McCullough, James. Sense and Spirituality: The Arts and Spiritual Formation. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books/Wipf and Stock, 2015. Suggests that aesthetic experience contributes to spiritual formation and that an imaginative engagement with the arts can catalyze this. Explores examples from music, poetry, and painting. 

Miller, Stephen. The Word Made Visible in the Painted Image: Perspective, Proportion, Witness and Threshold in Italian Renaissance Painting. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016. An interdisciplinary study combining the subject areas of art history, theology, aesthetics, metaphysics, geometry, optics, sociology, and more that looks at different aspects of Italian Renaissance painting: the creation of pictorial space and the presentation of the image, considerations of proportion through geometric methodology, the theological theme of threshold and liminal space, and the representation of themes such as the Incarnation and Revelation. 

Morgan, David. The Forge of Vision: A Visual History of Modern Christianity. Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2015. After exploring how distinctive Catholic and Protestant visual cultures emerged in the early modern period, Morgan examines a variety of Christian visual practices, ranging from the imagination, visions of nationhood, the likeness of Jesus, the material life of words, and the role of modern art as a spiritual quest, to the importance of images for education, devotion, worship, and domestic life.

O’Hear, Natasha, and Anthony O’Hear. Picturing the Apocalypse: The Book of Revelation in the Arts over Two Millennia. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Explores the visual development of concepts such as the Lamb of God, the Four Horsemen, the Seventh Seal, the Antichrist, the Whore of Babylon, Armageddon, the Last Judgment, and the New Jerusalem. The 120 full-color images reproduced inside span from medieval manuscripts and altarpieces to Protestant woodcuts to modern paintings and film stills. 

Pallister, James. Sacred Spaces: Contemporary Religious Architecture. London: Phaidon Press, 2015. Showcases thirty of the most innovative examples of contemporary religious architecture, spanning all major religions, with lavish, in-depth photography and drawings.

Pinder, Kymberly N. Painting the Gospel: Black Public Art and Religion in Chicago. Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2016. Moving from Chicago’s oldest black Christ figure to contemporary religious street art, Pinder takes readers on a tour of the Christian murals, stained glass, and sculptures of the city, exploring ideas like blackness in public and the relationship of Afrocentric art to Black Liberation Theology.

Prickett, Stephen (ed.). The Edinburgh Companion to the Bible and the Arts. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014. The “Art and Architecture” section of this lavishly illustrated tome comprises seventeen essays, covering topics such as the Tree of Life motif, Bathsheba, the Coverdale Bible, Pre-Raphaelite stained glass, and Vincent Van Gogh. (The book’s other three part titles are “Inspiration and Theory,” “Hymns,” and “Literature.”)

Reddaway, Chloë. Transformations in Persons and Paint: Visual Theology, Historical Images, and the Modern Viewer (Arts and the Sacred). Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers, 2015. Inhabiting both period and modern perspectives, the critical-devotional interpretations of Florentine Renaissance paintings in this book promote a new mode of theological viewing. Reddaway emphasizes the incarnational nature of Christian art, taking account of the particular physicality of images, especially as experienced through the sacred space within and around them. 

Rice, Karen Gonzalez. Long Suffering: American Endurance Art as Prophetic Witness. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 2016. Sets contemporary performances of endurance art within a broader context of prophetic religious discourse in the United States, focusing on the work of Ron Athey, Linda Montano, and John Duncan. 

Romaine, James and Linda Stratford (eds.). ReVisioning: Critical Methods of Seeing Christianity in the History of Art (Art for Faith’s Sake). Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books/Wipf and Stock, 2014. The first critical examination of scholarly methodologies applied to the study of Christian subjects, themes, and contexts in art. Contains seventeen essays.

Rosen, Aaron. Art and Religion in the 21st Century. London: Thames & Hudson, 2015. The first in-depth study to survey an international roster of artists who use their work to explore religion’s cultural, social, political, and psychological impact on today’s world.

Rosen, Aaron (ed.). Religion and Art in the Heart of Modern Manhattan: St. Peter’s Church and the Louise Nevelson Chapel. London: Routledge, 2015. Examines the astounding cultural output of St. Peter’s in Manhattan, which in the 1970s scrapped its neo-gothic building for a sleek modern structure and over the years has commissioned artists and designers such as Willem de Kooning, Kiki Smith, and Massimo and Lella Vignelli to produce works for the sanctuary. This transformation was accompanied by the founding of an innovative jazz ministry, including funerals for Billy Strayhorn and John Coltrane, and performances by Duke Ellington and other jazz legends. The story of St. Peter’s serves as a springboard for wider reflections on the challenges and possibilities that arise when religion and art intersect in the modern city. 

Siedell, Daniel A. Who’s Afraid of Modern Art?: Essays on Modern Art and Theology in Conversation. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books/Wipf and Stock, 2015. In thirty-four personal essays, curator and art critic Dan Siedell discusses what artists like Munch, Monet, Serrano, Hirst, and more offer Christians who are willing to listen and receive.

Skillen, John E. Putting Art (Back) in Its Place. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2016. Director of the Studio for Art, Faith, and History in Orvieto, Italy, Skillen equips laity and clergy to think historically about the vibrant role the visual arts have played and could again play in the life of the church and its mission. 

Spretnak, Charlene. The Spiritual Dynamic in Modern Art: Art History Reconsidered, 1800 to the Present. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. An overview demonstrating that numerous prominent artists in every period of the modern era were expressing spiritual interests when they created celebrated works of art.

Turner, Steve. Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts (revised and expanded). Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2016. The author builds a case for why Christians should be involved in every level of the art world and every medium, confronting society and the church. Art is part of the Creator’s cultural mandate, he says. Originally published in 2001, Imagine is revised and expanded in this edition to include study questions for individual reflection or group discussion. 

Quash, Ben, Aaron Rosen, and Chloë Reddaway, eds. Visualising a Sacred City: London, Art and Religion. London: I.B. Tauris, 2016. The first examination of the religious visual art of London. Adopting a broad multicultural and multifaith perspective, its topics range from ancient archaeological remains and Victorian murals and cemeteries, to contemporary documentaries and political cartoons. 

Verdon, Timothy. Art and Prayer: The Beauty of Turning to God. Brewster, Massachusetts: Paraclete Press, 2014. Verdon unites his multiple vocations as art historian, theologian, and priest to show how the practice of Christian prayer—both in liturgy and in personal devotion—can be enriched and given theological precision through art once intended for such work.

Verdon, Timothy, et al. Picturing Mary: Woman, Mother, Idea. New York: Scala Arts Publishers, 2014. Depictions of the Virgin Mary in art through the ages are examined from a unique combination of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and contemporary art-historical perspectives.

Viladesau, Richard. The Pathos of the Cross: The Passion of Christ in Theology and the Arts—The Baroque Era. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. Traces the ways in which musical and artistic works of the Baroque period were inspired and informed by Catholic and Protestant theologies of the cross, and how they moved beyond them in an aesthetic mediation of faith.

Watkins, James M. Creativity as Sacrifice: Toward a Theological Model for Creativity in the Arts. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Fortress Press, 2015. In dialogue with theology, philosophy, psychology, and art theory, the author establishes the relevance and applicability of an incarnational and sacrificial model of human creativity.

Weber, Susan. Nativities of the Southwest. Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith, 2015. A companion volume to Nativities of the World, this book features a collection of photos of one-of-a-kind nativities from the American Southwest, including many made by native Pueblo, Navajo, and Tohono O’odham artists and artisans, as well as others based in the traditions of the other two dominant cultures of the Southwest: Spanish and Anglo.

Wolfe, Gregory. The Operation of Grace: Further Essays on Art, Faith, and Mystery. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books/Wipf and Stock, 2015. A compilation of thirty-five of Wolfe’s essays from Image journal. Several essays dwell on how aesthetic values like ambiguity, tragedy, and beauty enlarge our understanding of the spiritual life, and others contain more personal meditations arising from Wolfe’s involvement in nurturing and promoting the work of emerging writers and artists.