Great Authors Who Wrote About Art and Faith

I’ve written many times about books that describe how art and faith connection (from books for small groups to books that you should read at least once).

Here’s a look at some of the authors who created these books, particularly ones who’ve written multiple books on the topic and therefore can’t really be summed up in a simple book list.

1. C.S. Lewis

While most of his nonfiction work didn’t talk about art, Lewis explored several key ideas that later writers would explore when trying to break divisions about “Christian art” and “secular art.”

His views on mythology and truth in his essay “Myth Became Fact” (collected in God in the Dock) argues that all truth is God’s truth, an idea that helps reconcile how to be a Christian and an artist in the secular art world.

In an interview collected in the book Miracles, he argues that the key to making Christianity relevant to a country is having Christians who produce good quality books on all the topics secular people read.

2. Francis Schaeffer

Schaeffer kickstarted the modern discussion about art and faith with his book Art and the Bible, a study on how Scripture talks about art and beauty.

Other books, particularly How Should We Then Live? and The God Who is There added to this discussion by analyzing different artistic movements from a Christian perspective.

3. H.R. Rookmaaker

One of Schaeffer’s associates, Rookmaaker made a huge contribution of his own to the art and faith discussion with his book Modern Art and the Death of a Culture. He takes readers through major art movements and the philosophical concerns that shaped each one, considering the view of God that each one presents.

4. Steve Turner

Perhaps more so than anyone since Schaeffer, Turner has provided great insights into what it means to believe in Christ and follow one’s artistic talents.

In books like The Gospel According to the Beatles, he described philosophical and spiritual assumptions that musicians have put into their works.

In Imagine, he described how evangelical Christians became so unsure that Christians should be involved in the arts.

Most recently, his book Popcultured applied the theological ideas from Imagine to the wider world of pop culture, from fashion to stand-up comedy.

5. Makoto Fujimura

Fujimura has navigated an interested route in the arts and the church.

Born in America to Japanese parents, his paintings combine elements from traditional Japanese art and modern art. His writings (including a great essay in the book Cultural Engagement) often considers how to reconcile seemingly conflicting allegiances and passions.

Culture Care considers what it means to have a life-giving relationship with culture and to be a “border-stalker,” going back and forth between two different cultural areas.

Refractions offers insightful (and sometimes very surprising) thoughts on art.

Silence and Beauty, inspired by Shusaka Endo’s well-known novel Silence, digs deep into questions about pain and suffering.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s