The phrase ‘prophetic art’ is bandied about a lot in church life, but what exactly does it mean for art to be prophetic? A lot of the contemporary discussion seems to focus on art performed in church meetings, whereas the biblical precedent would be that prophetic artistic performances are much more public and focused on people who are far from a captive audience. Hmmm… worth exploring further, we reckon.
Why Would a Christian Give to the Arts?
Most Christians have some sort of appreciation for the arts, but in the church in the UK, it would be rare for anyone to put the case for giving financially to ‘the arts’. How we use our money highlights what we consider important. We’ve been making the case since Sputnik began that the arts are important. We’d now like to join the dots from theory to wallets.
The decline of Christianity in the western world is much heralded. More concerning than the persistent decline in church attendance though is the apparent absence of a powerful Christian voice into our society. For years, the church has disengaged from the areas of public life that seem most key in shaping culture, and one of these is the arts. In this series, we explore whether Christians should seek to right this situation, with a particular focus on the role Christian artists can take in influencing our culture.
Beauty and Art
Ask someone to explain what art is and it is almost inevitable that they will start talking about beauty. The two seem intrinsically linked. Is this just a cop out though? Are there other concepts that could (or even should) be foremost in our minds as artists? What is beauty anyway? In this series, we explore the relationship between art and beauty and ask a number of artists how they understand beauty and how much it drives their practice.
Where is the Line?
If you attempt to create art with any degree of seriousness, you will quite quickly crash into some pretty tricky ethical dilemmas. How can we speak to the world we live in and reflect the experience of people who are in the world without ourselves sinning? How can we work together with people who hold very different values to us, whether as collaborators or clients? What is the balance between artistic self expression and integrity and our biblical mandate not to cause our brother to stumble? In short, where is the line?
Dissent and Protest
Art can be a powerful tool for protest and dissent against the powers that be. Christianity too has a rich history of speaking out against injustice, but its relationship with dissent is slightly more tricky. How can Christians dissent against authorities while maintaining a belief in One who has ultimate authority? How do we rightfully respect human authorities, while calling out evil and oppression in our art?
Looking Deeper Into Film
There’s a bunch of critically acclaimed films that have gone under many of our radars. In this series Joel Wilson re-evaluates classic films with a panel of friends, rating them for script, production, and how much they provoke powerful ideas and conversation.
What is Art?
In a sense, the obvious question. What makes something art and something else, well… something else? What separates a classical symphony from an advertising jingle? A poem from a shopping list? An unmade bed from an unmade bed? And does it matter?