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Visual Faith: Art, Theology, and Worship in Dialogue (Engaging Culture) Paperback – November 1, 2001


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Visual Faith: Art, Theology, and Worship in Dialogue (Engaging Culture) + God in the Gallery: A Christian Embrace of Modern Art (Cultural Exegesis) + Art and the Bible (Ivp Classics)
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Product Details

  • Series: Engaging Culture
  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic; First Edition edition (November 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801022975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801022975
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #428,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Both theological and practical, this wide-ranging study will be of special interest to all who want to get beyond the sterile prejudices that have so often marred the relationship between visual art and Protestantism."
-Jeremy Begbie, Cambridge University and University of St. Andrews

"Dyrness advocates 'careful historical and theological reflection' and puts this into practice in ways that satisfy the academic mind. Most of all, however, he emerges as a theologian of the arts with a message for the churches. He offers a well-founded critique of traditional Protestant prejudice against matters visual and artistic, and he issues an inspiring challenge to follow the Spirit into richer modes of praise and worship."
-Graham Birtwistle, Free University, Amsterdam

"A refreshing and welcome addition to the growing discourse on a Protestant recovery of visual imagination and the need for Christians of all stripes to engage and exploit the visual arts-both in the secular marketplace and within the worshiping life of the church."
-E. John Walford, Wheaton College

"The image-oriented insularity found in certain sectors of the Protestant church is sensitively and thoughtfully challenged by Bill Dyrness in this insightful guide. Visual Faith weaves together a compelling case for the collaboration between art and Christianity. Placing the complex world of contemporary art making within historical, theological, and cultural contexts, Dyrness affirms the necessity of images in the ongoing vitality of the church and her mission."
-Barry Krammes, Biola University;
publications editor, Christians in the Visual Arts

"With economy, grace, and passion, Visual Faith provides a compelling case for a deeper engagement on the part of Reformed Christians with visual art and aesthetics. Without apologizing for the past, Dyrness chronicles the astonishing renaissance of Christian involvement in contemporary art that is taking place in the present. And by placing art in the context of worship and the rich variety of other Christian traditions of spirituality and theology, he is helping to shape the future."
-Gregory Wolfe, editor, Image: A Journal of the Arts & Religion

"This is a book that church leaders, artists, and worshipers all need to read and discuss together. It contributes insights that are vital to understanding and shaping (both critically and constructively) major changes in culture and worship today."
-Frank Burch Brown, Christian Theological

About the Author

William A. Dyrness (D.Theol., University of Strasbourg; Doctorandus, Free University) is professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author of many books, including The Earth Is God's: A Theology of American Culture.

More About the Author

William Dyrness, after doctoral studies in Europe, has lived and taught in the Philippines and Berkeley, and most recently has been Dean of the School of Theology (1990-2000) and Professor of Theology and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By D. Farris on October 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed how this book looked very practically at the arts and the evolution of them within the church. It gives not only a historical requirement to continue to press for more artistic use and involvement in the modern movement of the church, but also gives practical ways in which to do so. If you're involved in creative arts ministry in any capacity, you probably should read this book in order to get your berings.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E. J. Cobb on March 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book brings a whole new perspective to the table of Christianity and the arts. Dyrness is able to argue that such things are an essential part of Christian life, especially if we are to live holistically. I enjoyed it very much.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Darren Cronshaw on March 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
William A Dyrness, Visual Faith: Art, Theology and Worship in Dialogue (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001)

This book critiques the traditional Protestant prejudice against visual arts and aesthetics, and invites Christians to have new vision for the arts and a recovery of visual imagination. Until the Renaissance, art was made almost purely for devotional purposes, but Calvin and the Reformation distrusted images and elevated the word as primary. Recently, society's resurging interest in the visual arts (and the images of popular culture) has been paralleled by a renaissance of interest in the arts among Christians. Theologians like Paul Tillich and Francis Schaeffer paved the way, and Dyrness expounds the wealth of theological justification for celebrating the beauty, creativity and imagery of art. The art world can be confusing with its proliferation of forms and styles. It is a context that does not suit modern Christians who like convincing, rational presentations. Yet it is a rich context for exploring meaning, spirituality, and worship in interactive, collaborative and visual ways. Dyrness is Professor of Theology and Culture at Fuller Seminary and his love of art and its interaction with theology is contagious. Emerging churches that are seeking to enjoy and worship with beauty and creative arts will find helpful background here.

Originally reviewed in Darren Cronshaw `The Emerging Church: Spirituality and Worship Reading Guide.' Zadok Papers S159 (Autumn 2008).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Grady A. Cox on October 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good content on a topic seldom treated well by Christian authors. It was occasionally "dry" and difficult for the reader to stay interested. I strongly recommend Saving Leonardo by Pearcey instead!
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