intraspace: the review lounge

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

visual faith

visual faith: art, theology and worship in dialogue, by william a dyrness

three or four years ago there weren't a lot of books around about christianity and the arts. since my university days i'd been obsessed with the idea of a re-emergent arts movement in the church and it seems i wasn't the only one. in the last couple of years, a noticeable movement has indeed begun to take place. alongside that are an increasing number of books on the subject.

but i got this book when there weren't so many, and i aimed to get anything that came out. the rather drab title and the awful cover design put me off reading it for a long time - even the author's name sounds like "dryness".

finally, three years after buying the book, i finished reading it. and it turned out to be an excellent piece of writing.

dyrness begins by giving a historical survey of art and the church (interesting), talks about art in the bible (interesting), gives some theological perspectives (difficult), then talks about the challenges and opportunities for christians in the arts today (excellent). all up, a very good survey of the issues.

dyrness challenges protestant churches to pick up visual creativity and shows that it doesn't have to be at the expense of 'the word'. recommended reading for anyone who is interested in the application of visual media in the church.

on the headphones: 'all the time' by starflyer 59, from the album 'the fashion focus'.

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