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Art & Soul: Signposts for Christians in the Arts Paperback – December 27, 2001

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Editorial Reviews


"Hilary Brand and Adrienne Chaplin have produced an academic but delightfully written book designed to fill a significant need for students who are contemplating a career or some active involvement in the arts. It is addressed to participants in all of the arts--visual, music, theatre, film or any combination of the above--as well as interested observers and consumers of art. . . . "I have used Art & Soul as a text for a Senior Seminar in the visual arts, and it was enthusiastically received by students. Its usefulness, however, is certainly not limited to the classroom: anyone involved in music, theatre, film or the visual arts will find a wealth of stimulating material for inspiration and discussion on a variety of levels. I have found this book to be the most valuable addition to my library in a long time." (Joanne Alberda, Dort College, in Pro Rege)

About the Author

Hilary Brand is a British author and freelance photographer. Her books include the Lent courses, Christ and the Chocolaterie and The Power of Small Choices.

Chaplin teaches philosophical aesthetics at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, Ontario.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 219 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic; 2 edition (December 27, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830826742
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830826742
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #815,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Charles Beach on March 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
In ART AND SOUL, Hilary Brand and Adrienne Chaplin explore the full spectrum of issues and concerns that face a Christian who is interested in working within any of the creative arts. They address questions ranging from postmodern assumptions about art through the very practical issue of who might (or should) support the artist in his/her work. This book seeks to explain why and how the arts impact the audience, and even if a reader may disagree with some of the authors' conclusions, the very fact that they have attempted to find purpose and meaning in the arts
distinguishes this book from the multitude of contemporary aesthetic theories which tend to emphasize the utter subjectivity and "meaninglessness" of works of art. To support their discussion, Brand and Chaplin provide abundant examples of artistic works, including references to literature, music, and (especially) the visual arts. While some of these examples derive from the long history of the Christian church's interaction with the arts, most are current, involving the work of living artists in the news (such as the recent "Sensation" exhibit that created turmoil in Brooklyn)--and some whose work has undeservingly remained unknown. In addition, the authors cite numerous artists' views on the arts, as well as contemporary theorists such as Nicholas Wolterstorff and Calvin Seerveld. ART AND SOUL is by far the most comprehensive and most knowledgable study of the issues faced by Christians entering the arts. It is also quite accessible, with clearly defined terminology so that even a
nonartist could follow the discussion without hesitation.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Terri Rice TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 17, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a quality book, heavy white paper with great photos of art work and terrific quotes in the margins.

It is written from a Christian perspective, linking art and spirituality together.

The book starts out where we are today, in a post-modern world. Art "thrives on paradox, fragmentation and impossible juxtaposition of styles, techniques and imagery... It can be a bouncy castle or your own faeces, a dead cow or a sleeping actress."

"The exciting possibility that post modernism offers is the blurring of high and low art." Laura Lasworth

Graham Cray points out that, "A generation that calls itself post something probably doesn't yet know what it is." Heading into the third millennium give Christians an opportunity to shape its values and ideas.

Along the centuries artists changed their social standing. In the Middle Ages the artists work was considered a spiritual service to the church. They were workers of their trade same as any other trade.

In the 18th and 19th centuries in the age of Romanticism art somehow took on a higher meaning, an activity above mere mortal's work. And today we have artists with a capital A. The idea of artists as anti-social and eccentric has continued to this day.

The arts were once part and parcel of church life yet in the church today art seems to have been forgotten.

Scripture provides, "a biblical framework within which the arts, like all other human activity, can be evaluated and understood."

This book addresses the artist, art as a calling, art as an honest job and best of all, it will make you excited to create and imagine.

"I want to suggest to you that the day of the artists has come.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Paul R. Waibel VINE VOICE on August 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
Christians in the Arts

All people have a worldview, a certain set of assumptions about what is real and is not real, which enables the individual to function within and with the world that exist. Although few individuals ever sit down and try to analyze their worldview-and we all have one-that worldview finds expression in how we live. The individual's worldview can be seen in the product of the individual's labor. For the creative person, e.g., the artist, poet, writer, etc.,his or her worldview is apparent to the critic's trained eye in the creative product. Great art, it has been said, is but the coming together of worldview and technique.
The Christian who wishes to express his or her creative gifts must learn to live in tension. Christianity, especially in America, has not been friendly to the creative spirit. In ART & SOUL: SIGNPOSTS FOR CHRISTIANS IN THE ARTS, Hilary Brand and Adrienne Chaplin argue that artistic expression is a natural byproduct of human beings created in the image of God. This does not mean that the Christian artist will paint only praying hands or write only religious romances, either of which are about as artistic as a velvet painting of Elvis. "All the products of human creativity, even the finest and most glorious, are products of a sin-infested world" (50). The Christian artist, like the non-Christian artist of merit, will seek to truthfully portray the world in all its complexity to an adult audience. To do so, write Brand and Chaplin, "the artist must learn to create a complex weave of dark and light. It means learning to use the full palate of shades, confident that in hands-that have learned their craft-they will not all merge into muddy grey" (55).
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