For the majority of its existence, Christianity has deeply informed the Western artistic tradition through the works of renowned painters, classical composers, and authors. This much is obvious to any high school Art History, Music, or Literature student.
Christianity has proven to be foundational to the creation of Michelangelo’s David and The Creation of Adam, and to the development of classical music, ranging from Handel’s “Messiah” to J.S. Bach–who David Bentley Hart referred to as “the greatest of Christian theologians.”
For literature, one could argue that C.S. Lewis is also an important contributor to Christian art, based on his books Till We Have Faces and The Great Divorce. In terms of science fiction, Arthur C. Clarke agreed, writing that Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra are “two of the very few works of space fiction that can be classed as literature.”
In this vein, romereports.com has recently posted a video about Christianity’s current relationship with the arts, and what has changed and what should change about it. It features a few interviews from academics writing on the connection between the two. C.S. Lewis is mentioned as an example of a Christian fusing the two together. Also featured in the video is Joseph Pearce, one of our speakers for the 2011 Summer Institute at Oxbridge.
Christianity’s influence on art and culture is one of the dominant themes of the Oxbridge conference. There is still time to register for the event on our website. For those interested in reading up on the theme, see our reading list.