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 2018

ArtWay List of Books 2018

Compiled by Victoria Emily Jones

Baker, Jack R., Jeffrey Bilbro, and Daniel Train, eds. The Saint John’s Bible and Its Tradition: Illuminating Beauty in the Twenty-First Century. Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick/Wipf and Stock, 2018. “This collection considers how The Saint John’s Bible fits within the history of the Bible as a book, and how its haptic qualities may be particularly important in a digital age.”

Bannon, David. Wounded in Spirit: Advent Art and Meditations. Brewster, Massachusetts: Paraclete Press, 2018. “Christmas can be a time of joy but also of tears, memory, and prayer. Celebration does not always come easily. In twenty-five illustrated daily readings, we commune with Scripture and the wounded artists that gave the world masterpieces of hope: Gauguin, Tissot, Caravaggio, Tanner, Delacroix, van Gogh, Dürer . . .”

Begbie, Jeremy. A Peculiar Orthodoxy: Reflections on Theology and the Arts. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2018. “Begbie emphasizes the role of a biblically grounded creedal orthodoxy as he shows how Christian theology and the arts can enrich each other. He explains the importance of critically examining key terms, concepts, and thought patterns commonly employed in theology-arts discourse today, . . . [with] due attention given to how an orientation to the Triune God’s self-disclosure in Christ might lead us to reshape and invest these notions with fresh content.”

Begbie, Jeremy. Redeeming Transcendence in the Arts: Bearing Witness to the Triune God. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2018. Here Begbie “employs a biblical, Trinitarian imagination to show how Christian involvement in the arts can be shaped by the distinctive vision of God’s transcendence opened up in and through Jesus Christ.”

Billingsley, Naomi. The Visionary Art of William Blake: Christianity, Romanticism and the Pictorial Imagination (Library of Modern Religion). London: I.B. Tauris, 2018. “How did [Blake] come to equate Christianity with art? How did he use images and paint to express those radical and prophetic ideas about religion which he came in time to believe? And why did he conceive of Christ himself as an artist: in fact, as the artist par excellence? These are among the questions Naomi Billingsley explores in her subtle and wide-ranging new study in art, religion and the history of ideas.”

Brown, David. Divine Generosity and Human Creativity: Theology through Symbol, Painting and Architecture, ed. Christopher Brewer and Robert McSwain. New York: Routledge, 2018. “A sustained argument for divine interaction and more specifically the ways in which God speaks in the wider imaginative world, . . . this volume addresses foundations, the multivalent power of symbols, artists as theologians and meaning in religious architecture.”

Byford, Mark. The Annunciation: A Pilgrim’s Quest. Winchester: Winchester University Press, 2018. Inspired by a chance encounter with a relatively unknown Annunciation painting on loan to the National Gallery, journalist Mark Byford sets out to discover the spiritual meaning of the biblical story through conversations with 150-plus clerics, theologians, church historians, artists, art historians, and others, and through encounters with works of visual art, music, and poetry.

Clark, T. J. Heaven on Earth: Painting and the Life to Come. London: Thames & Hudson, 2018. Investigates the different ways painting has depicted the dream of God’s kingdom come: heaven descended to earth, from the late Middle Ages through the Renaissance and Baroque eras and ending with Picasso’s Fall of Icarus.

Coulter, Diana, and Robert Smith. Keith New. Bristol, England: Sansom & Co., 2018. Keith New (1926–2012) was a pioneering British modernist stained-glass artist whose career was launched when he was commissioned to design the nave windows for Basil Spence’s Coventry Cathedral—one of many church commissions he fulfilled throughout his career. This is the first monograph devoted to his work.

Craft, Jennifer Allen. Placemaking and the Arts: Cultivating the Christian Life (Studies in Theology and the Arts). Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic/InterVarsity Press, 2018. In this practical theology of the arts, Craft argues that “the arts place us in time, space, and community in ways that encourage us to be fully and imaginatively present in a variety of contexts: the natural world, our homes, our worshiping communities, and society. In so doing, the arts call us to pay attention to the world around us and invite us to engage in responsible practices in those places.”

Heimann, Cory, ed., Created: Bridging the Gap between Your Art and Your Creator. Fort Wayne, Indiana: Likeable Art (self-pub.), 2018. “In the beginning God created” are the first five words God decided to share with humanity. For this book, Heimann asked sixty-two Catholic artists, designers, architects, chefs, writers, filmmakers, and others, “What are your first five words to the world of artists?” Each of the answers receives its own color spread—the left page setting the five words within a graphic design, and the right page featuring a 250-word elaboration by that contributor.

Hills, Paul. Veiled Presence: Body and Drapery from Giotto to Titian. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2018. This wide-ranging book traces the Christian symbolism of body and veil to ancient archetypes and reveals how this symbolism was renewed and transformed in late medieval and Renaissance art.

Homrighausen, Jonathan. Illuminating Justice: The Ethical Imagination of The Saint John’s Bible. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2018. “Situating his close analysis of The Saint John’s Bible’s illuminations in the context of contemporary biblical exegesis and Catholic teaching, Homrighausen shows how this project stimulates the ethical imagination of its readers and viewers on matters of justice for women, care for creation, and dialogue between Jews and Christians.”

Hornik, Heidi J. The Art of Christian Reflection. Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press, 2018. Art historian Heidi J. Hornik analyzes over eighty works of art, highlighting the ethical implications inherent to each. Specifically, she explores how art can foster Christian virtues such as forgiveness, patience, and generosity. She also discusses art’s influence on moral issues such as racism, prisons, violence, poverty, and environmentalism, as well as historic Christian praxes such as prayer, work, Bible study, and worship.

Jensen, Robin M., and Mark D. Ellison, eds. The Routledge Handbook of Early Christian Art (Routledge Handbooks). New York: Routledge, 2018. The book opens with a general survey of Christian art from the late second to the sixth centuries and then presents fifteen essays that discuss specific media—catacomb paintings, sculpture, mosaics, gold glass, gems, reliquaries, ceramics, icons, ivories, textiles, silver, and illuminated manuscripts. The second part considers the ritual practices in decorated spaces, the emergence of images of Christ’s Passion and miracles, the functions of Christian secular portraits, the exemplary mosaics of Ravenna, the early modern history of Christian art and archaeology studies, and further reflection on this field called “early Christian art.”

Jordan, Kate, and Ayla Lepine, eds. Modern Architecture and Religious Communities 1850–1970. New York: Routledge, 2018. “New readings of sacred spaces offer new angles and perspectives on some of the dominant narratives of the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries: empire, urban expansion, pluralism and modernity. In a post-traditional landscape, religious architecture suggests expansive ways of exploring themes including nostalgia and revivalism; engineering and technological innovation; prayer and spiritual experimentation; and the beauty of holiness for a brave new world.”

Jothen, Peder. Kierkegaard, Aesthetics, and Selfhood: The Art of Subjectivity (Studies in Theology, Imagination and the Arts). New York: Routledge, 2018, 2014. “Argues that Kierkegaard’s primary concern is to provocatively explore how a self becomes Christian, with aesthetics being a vital dimension for such self-formation. At a broader level, Peder Jothen also focuses on the role, authority, and meaning of aesthetic expression within religious thought generally and Christianity in particular.”

Rosen, Aaron. Encounters: The Art of Interfaith Dialogue (Arts and the Sacred). Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2018. “What makes for productive and long-lasting interfaith dialogue? This book uses Nicola Green’s artwork as a lens through which to explore and analyse the state of interreligious dialogue today. The book features contributions from leading scholars and practitioners in theology, history, cultural studies, and art history.”

Taylor, Joan E. What Did Jesus Look Like? Edinburgh: T&T Clark/Bloomsbury, 2018. “What did Jesus really look like? Is our popular image of Jesus overly westernized and untrue to historical reality? This question continues to fascinate. Leading Christian origins scholar Joan E. Taylor surveys the historical evidence, and the prevalent image of Jesus in art and culture, to suggest an entirely different vision of this most famous of men.”

Williams, Jane. The Art of Advent: A Painting a Day from Advent to Epiphany. London: SPCK, 2018. Illustrated in full color, this book walks through nearly forty works of Western art, inviting a prayerful response. Each entry concludes with questions for personal reflection or discussion.