At least since the time of Paul (see Acts 18), Christians have wrestled with the power and danger of religious imagery in the visual arts. It was not until the middle of the twentieth century that there emerged in Western Christianity an integrated, academic study of theology and the arts. One of the pioneers of that movement was H. Wilson Yates, emeritus professor at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, to whom this volume is dedicated.
Here, fourteen theologians and Yates himself examine how visual culture reflects or addresses pressing contemporary religious questions. The aim throughout is to engage the reader in theological reflection, mediated and enhanced by the arts. This beautifully illustrated book includes more than fifty images in full color.
Robin M. Jensen is the Luce Chancellor's Professor of the History of Christian Art and Worship at Vanderbilt University, where she teaches both in the Divinity School and the Art History Department, and directs a program on Art, Religion, and Contemporary Culture. She has written several books, articles, and essays on the subject of early Christian art and its intersection with Christian theology and practice. She is currently president for the Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies.
Kimberly Vrudny is associate professor of systematic theology at the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she also serves as Project Director for HIV/AIDS Initiatives. She is the author of Friars, Scribes, and Corpses: A Marian Confraternal Reading of The Mirror of Human Salvation (Leuven: Peeters, forthcoming); and coedited, with Wilson Yates, Arts, Theology and the Church: New Intersections (Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 2005). She is interested in the intersections of art, theology, and politics.