Christianity, Art and Transformation: Theological Aesthetics in the Struggle for Justice

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"Christianity, Art and Transformation explores the historical and contemporary relationship between the arts and Christianity with reference to the transformation of society. Several major themes are discussed, among them the power of images, the relationship between aesthetics and ethics, the nature of beauty and its redemptive capacity, aesthetic existence and Christian discipleship, and the role of art in the public square and in the life of the church. The book is a contribution to the study of theological aesthetics today from both an ecumenical and Reformed perspective, global in its scope yet rooted in the author's South African context."--BOOK JACKET.
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Editorial Reviews

The Times Literary Supplement
Christianity, Art and Transformation is a journey of exploration that is both historical and contemporary, theological and practical. The reader is invited to share in the journey beginning in the life of the early Church, travelling through the history of European Christianity and art, and arriving in southern Africa.
From the Publisher
Review of the hardback: '… a new and original and a very welcome addition to the subject.' Journal of Ecclesiastical History
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521089500
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/6/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,341,439
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

List of plates
Introduction 1
Pt. I Historical Trajectories 9
1 The power of sacred images 11
Christ, Apollo or Dionysus? 13
Art in Christian origins 17
Icons, idolatry and incarnation 21
Privileging the word and patronage of the arts 29
Stripping sanctuaries and chastening art 35
The struggle continues 49
2 The beautiful, the ugly and the holy 53
Aesthetics of modernity and the Romantic spirit 55
Christ on Parnassus revisited 67
Beauty, bad taste and sin 74
From aestheticism to fascism 82
Pt. II Theological Reflection 95
3 The redemptive power of beauty 97
The glory of the Lord 102
God's joyful beauty 111
The alien beauty of the cross 122
The drama of world redemption 128
4 Restoring broken themes of praise 136
Aesthetic judgement in doing theology 138
Recovering aesthetic existence 147
Christ and the polyphony of life 158
Pt. III Aesthetic Praxis 169
5 Art in the public square 171
Constructing the public square 176
Architecture and ethics in a colonial context 184
Transformation, art and culture 191
Imaging resistance and hope in South Africa 203
6 Art in the life of the church 213
Connecting sanctuary and public square 213
The beauty of holiness 221
Sacred, religious or spiritual art? 228
Artistic creativity and Christian conviction 239
Doing theological aesthetics in context 248
Select bibliography 255
Index of names 259
Index of biblical references 263
Index of subjects and places 264
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