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"Dyrness advocates 'careful historical and theological reflection' and puts this into practice in ways that satisfy the academic mind. Most of all, however, he emerges as a theologian of the arts with a message for the churches. He offers a well-founded critique of traditional Protestant prejudice against matters visual and artistic, and he issues an inspiring challenge to follow the Spirit into richer modes of praise and worship."
-Graham Birtwistle, Free University, Amsterdam
"A refreshing and welcome addition to the growing discourse on a Protestant recovery of visual imagination and the need for Christians of all stripes to engage and exploit the visual arts-both in the secular marketplace and within the worshiping life of the church."
-E. John Walford, Wheaton College
"The image-oriented insularity found in certain sectors of the Protestant church is sensitively and thoughtfully challenged by Bill Dyrness in this insightful guide. Visual Faith weaves together a compelling case for the collaboration between art and Christianity. Placing the complex world of contemporary art making within historical, theological, and cultural contexts, Dyrness affirms the necessity of images in the ongoing vitality of the church and her mission."
-Barry Krammes, Biola University;
publications editor, Christians in the Visual Arts
"With economy, grace, and passion, Visual Faith provides a compelling case for a deeper engagement on the part of Reformed Christians with visual art and aesthetics. Without apologizing for the past, Dyrness chronicles the astonishing renaissance of Christian involvement in contemporary art that is taking place in the present. And by placing art in the context of worship and the rich variety of other Christian traditions of spirituality and theology, he is helping to shape the future."
-Gregory Wolfe, editor, Image: A Journal of the Arts & Religion
"This is a book that church leaders, artists, and worshipers all need to read and discuss together. It contributes insights that are vital to understanding and shaping (both critically and constructively) major changes in culture and worship today."
-Frank Burch Brown, Christian Theological
|List of Illustrations||7|
|Introduction: The Uneasy Relationship between Art and Faith||11|
|1||Development of the Visual Arts from the Early Church to the Middle Ages||25|
|2||Development of the Visual Arts from the Reformation to the Twenty-First Century||51|
|3||Art and the Biblical Drama||69|
|4||Reflecting Theologically on the Visual Arts||87|
|5||Contemporary Challenges for Christians and the Arts||103|
|6||A New Opportunity for Christian Involvement in the Arts||121|
|7||Making and Looking at Art||139|
|Conclusion: Dreaming Dreams and Seeing Visions||155|