The Art of New Creation
The biblical themes of creation and new creation are inextricably bound to each other. For the God who created the world is the same God who recreates humanity in Jesus Christ and the same God who promises a new heaven and a new earth.
How might the relationship between creation and new creation be informed by and reflected in the arts? This volume, based on the DITA10 conference at Duke Divinity School, brings together reflections from theologians, biblical scholars, and artists to offer insights on God's first work, God's future work, and the future of the field of theology and the arts.
"Artists may be expected to speak of the new to attempt to create something new into the world. But what is truly new and necessary is for theology to dare to open the mystery of the New. In this collection of essays and conversations, we see a glimpse into a church in which such a possibility of the New is fully manifest. We see poets like Micheal O'Siadhail and artists like Lanecia A. Rouse Tinsley and Steve Prince invited to a journey of inquiry with pioneering theologians Jeremy Begbie and N. T. Wright leading the way. I am grateful for this diverse estuary of thoughts, which leads to Making."
"The Art of New Creation is a rich contribution to the study of theology and the arts that attests to the continued vitality and relevance of this interdisciplinary conversation. Bringing together many voices, this volume ventures into fresh, promising directions. In particular, contributors open spaces to explore relationships between aesthetics, theology, racism, the ecological crisis, and the Covid-19 pandemic. Generous room is given for artists to reflect on their own practice, and several contributions are offered in a dialogical mode that proves fruitful and engaging. The biblical theme of new creation threads the entire project and weaves a beautiful tapestry that will, I hope, inspire many projects of the same kind. While many trends in academic theology will come and go, The Art of New Creation demonstrates the ongoing need for interdisciplinary explorations in theology and the arts."
"Both theologians and fine artists have been criticized at times for being out of touch with the most urgent needs of society. This compelling collection defies that caricature. Here artists and theologians reflect on the new creation while attending carefully to the groans of the world in which we live. If you've ever wondered how theology and the arts might engage with a global pandemic, institutional racism, the environmental crisis, economic injustice, and other pressing concerns of the moment, start here."
"Rooted in this moment when we have lost our sense of being and are traversing what appears as the brooding threat of nonbeing, this book unleashes creativity as the embodiment of new being. Joined in rumination and celebration, we are guided by a diversely gifted company of friends to journey forth in hope. The pages nourish and sustain us through the extraordinary more of art as it leads us into depth to meet our abundant God in the midst of a suffering world."
"A time-honored and timely theme addressed by a great group of writers and artists. The Art of New Creation is a welcome new contribution to the dialogue regarding theology and the arts."
"From music to painting to film, this volume brings theologians and practicing artists together to imagine God's new creation that, as Begbie highlights, is 'before us' but not yet realized. This mind-bending idea begs for embodied expression, and our cultural moment—rife with fear and injustice—needs those who can transform our imaginations for a new world to come. This collection is an enlivening contribution to the theology and arts conversation, which can often be abstract in its conclusions and outcomes. Instead, we are offered perspectives revealing that the integration of theology and the arts can be a vital nexus from which to imagine God's new creation in our broken world."
"What Marxist views of art have so long tried to accomplish is actually realized in this sparkling volume: a view of art propelled by confident hope in tomorrow that still crackles with justice today."
"This celebratory book reverberates with the joy of something fulfilled (ten years of DITA, a taste of whose repeatedly rich harvests can be sampled here) and the even-greater joy of something anticipated: the full realization of God's new creation. The thought of scholars, the testimony of artistic practitioners, and the wisdom of good conversationalists all combine here to prove that whether we are engaged in making art, or theology, or conversation, or all three, we are at the same time being made. Our task is to let that making be God's work in us."
Foreword by Natalie Carnes
Jeremy Begbie, Daniel Train, and W. David O. Taylor
Introduction: "There Before Us": New Creation in Theology and the Arts
Part I: Soundings
1. In God's Good Time: Poetry and the Rhythms of New Creation
2. Sketching the Incarnation: Ephrem of Nisibis on the Theological Significance of the Artist's Craft
Charles Augustine Rivera
3. Love's New Creation: Reconciling Two Approaches to Theology and Arts
4. Transcendence, the Arts, and New Creation: An Empirical Approach
5. The Artist and the Environmental Crisis: A Paradigm for Human Living
6. The White Savior as Diseased Creation: A Theological Diagnosis and Plea
7. Singing Ourselves into the Future: Worship and the New Creation
W. David O. Taylor
8. A Singing Creation: Music Making and Christian Maturity in Colossians 3:16
Amy Whisenand Krall
Part II: Conversations
9. Placemaking for New Creation
Jennifer Allen Craft and Norman Wirzba
10. We Flourish in a Syncopated Peace: Creation and New Creation in Micheal O'Siadhail's The Five Quintets
Richard Hays and Micheal O'Siadhail
11. Creation and New Creation in J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis
Malcolm Guite and Judith Wolfe
12. Reflections on Performing: Living into the New Creation
Elizabeth Klein and Shadwa Mussad
Part III: Arts in Action
13. Leah Glenn, Dancer
14. Lanecia A. Rouse Tinsley, Visual Artist
15. Steve Prince, Visual Artist
16. Linnéa Spransy Neuss, Visual Artist
17. Awet I. Andemicael, Musician
The Surprising Faithfulness of God: A Sermon at DITA10
N. T. Wright
List of Contributors