Faith, Beauty, and the Arts

December 30 2015

by Alexei Laushkin

What should Christians say about the intersection of faith, beauty, and art? This week I came across something from a few years ago by Makoto Fujimura (currently at Fuller Theological Seminary). It’s his work Golden Sea (below)


Check out the video describing the work and exploring the themes of faith and art (click here and scroll down on the page). The commentary on the work talks about the relationship between beauty and culture and beauty and art. How art is a medium of expression for fullness and wholeness, but how it has to be learned and entered into and what that means for culture’s seeking life and truth. Let me highlight one quote from the short film where a colleague of Fujimura is describing the work itself: “It doesn’t have an intensity that loudly calls people’s attention but it has beauty that resonates slowly and deeply.”

Exploring the world of beauty, art, and culture will be a significant Kingdom Mission Society (KMS) focus in 2016, because our culture and creativity and art tells us something about the times we are living in and underlying trends. Art tells us about how people are working through life as it is and as they wish it to be. KMS in particular will explore what Christianity looks like as it speaks into or comments on the art and music and ‘life of the times.’

On that point, I came across one of Bob Dylan’s recent records ‘Tempest’ (2012). Here’s a lengthy interview with Dylan on the record in Rolling Stone. Dylan talks about faith and life, and a lot of things in a bit of a crass manner, but it’s worth the read. If you want to get a sense of the album just watch this music video. The album itself explores this tension, between faith (lots of biblical references) and reality, hope and disappointment, and most of the songs end in some sort of death or tragedy. It’s this very unusual but well done work on decadence and decay. Check out the lyrics for ‘Early Roman Kings‘ and ‘Tin Angel‘ in particular.

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