“A Cloud of Creative Witnesses: Exploring Some of the Greatest Creative Expressions of Faith”
This course offers a brief, but compelling history of how faith has impacted the development of the arts and helped shape magnificent creative expressions of the Christian story. By focusing on eight key turning points in the arts, you’ll gain a window into how Christian artists not only reflected their personal faith, but also the Christian culture of their time. And we’ll also investigate how their work continues to be relevant and inspiring to us today. Along the way we’ll look at the art of painters like Giotto, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Frederic Church; listen to music from Bach, Handel, Gorecki, and U2; and examine the writing of authors such as Dante, Dostoyevsky, C.S. Lewis, Hopkins, and Flannery O’Connor. You’ll also discover the work of some less familiar but outstanding creatives whose insights can enrich your faith.
- From the Catacombs to the Throne: How the rise of Christianity can be seen in early Christian art, from the scribblings of persecuted saints to mosaics exalting the Christian emperor.
- An Encyclopedia of Faith: How the development of the Gothic cathedrals brought a broad spectrum of artistic expressions together for a unified message reaching the illiterate and uneducated.
- Francis and the Art of Empathy: How the personal and down-to-earth spirituality of St. Francis gave rise to the new realism of Renaissance art.
- The Holiness of the Ordinary: How a new kind of spiritual approach in northern Europe gave rise to an art that valued the smallest details of life, and opened the door for landscape, portraiture, and still life.
- The Reformation and the Word Made Art: How the theology of the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation gave rise to art that focused on illustrating the message and events of the Bible, particularly in music and visual art.
- Romantic Christianity: How Christian artists and writers found new ways of expressing the emotive and illuminating power of nature and human nature by adapting Romanticism to their own purpose: pointing toward faith.
- Against the Current: How Christian writers, musicians, and painters reasserted the vision of Christianity in the face of Enlightenment philosophy by reengaging with the best of tradition and constructing a creative theological response.
- Faith in the Modern Mirror: How Christian creatives continue to find fresh expressions of faith in an increasingly secularized postmodern world with stylistic innovations and approaches.
Terry Glaspey is a writer, an editor, a creative mentor, and someone who finds various forms of art — painting, films, novels, poetry, and music — to be some of the places where he most deeply connects with God.
He has written over a dozen books, including 75 Masterpieces Every Christian Should Know: Fascinating Stories Behind Great Art, Music, Literature, and Film, which was recently given Christianity Today’s 2017 Book Award; Not a Tame Lion: The Spiritual Legacy of C.S. Lewis; The Prayers of Jane Austen; 25 Keys to Life-Changing Prayer; and Bible Basics for Everyone. Terry enjoys writing and speaking about a variety of topics including creativity and spirituality, the artistic heritage of the Christian faith, the writing of C.S. Lewis, and creative approaches to apologetics.
He serves on the board of directors of the Society to Explore and Record Church History. Terry has been the recipient of a number of awards, including a distinguished alumni award and the Advanced Speakers and Writers Editor of the Year award.