As mentioned in a post last week, Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin was delivering Contemporary Christianity’s 2010 Catherwood Lecture in Derry and Belfast, looking at the subject of Contemporary Art and the Return of Religion.
The video of Thursday night’s lecture in University of Ulster’s Belfast campus is now available for playback.
Contemporary Christianity’s annual Catherwood Lecture always attempts to bring theology to the public square and leave its audience with something to think about.
Modern art is often a there-be-dragons area in Christian circles. Amongst the blocks of colour, unmade beds, sheds and rubble, can there be any aspect of religious expression or faith? Is it positive representation? Is the art any good? Is your soul damaged in the process of deciding!
Adrienne suggested that after several centuries of mutual distrust, mainstream contemporary art from Andy Warhol and Andres Serrano to Damien Hirst and Chris Ofili can now be seen to incorporate the kind of religious references which since the origins of modern art had been largely absent.
This raises some interesting questions: How do these images relate to their historic, traditional meanings? To whom do religious stories and symbols belong? And how should Christians respond to such works?
Dr Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin studied art history and violin in the Free University in Amsterdam, taught philosophical aesthetics at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, and was president of the Canadian Society for Aesthetics. Her research interests are the problem of meaning in art, art and embodiment, and theological aesthetics. Published in various books and journals and co-author of Art and Soul: Signposts for Christians in the Arts (IVP, 2002), Adrienne is a free-lance writer and speaker, currently writing on the relation between faith and art.