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We are ‘without Sin’ right now. The groundbreaking exhibition at the National Gallery opened to widespread acclaim in early October 2020 and was forced to close as part of a national lockdown only a month later.

This special meeting of the Sacred Traditions & the Arts Seminar will meet online just two days before the exhibition is due to reopen to the public once again. Its curator, Dr Joost Joustra, will discuss both why and how he tackled such a bold subject, bringing together works of art that span centuries—from Bruegel and Velázquez to Andy Warhol and Tracey Emin—to examine complex theological ideas, as well as depictions of ‘sinful’ behaviour that blur the boundaries between religious and secular art.

He will engage in dialogue with theologian, Ben Quash, how this compact but ambitious exhibition rewards close attention, illuminating its themes in multiple ways, through explorations of sex, Scripture, the natural world, the sacraments, and the body.

There will then be time for questions and discussion.


Dr Joost Joustra is the Howard and Roberta Ahmanson Research Curator at the National Gallery, London, and a visiting lecturer in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King’s College, London.

Professor Ben Quash is Professor of Christianity & the Arts and Director of the Centre for Arts & the Sacred (ASK) at King’s College London

Organised by: Professor Ben Quash (King’s College London) and Dr Scott Nethersole (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

About the seminar series

The seminar on Sacred Traditions and the Arts is a joint venture between the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King’s and The Courtauld. It seeks to place researchers in dialogue who are working on any aspect of the sacred and visual culture. It is open to all scholars and students who have an interest in exploring the intersections of religion and art regardless of period, geography or tradition.

This event is free to attend and welcome to all to attend. To join the event, please click on the Microsoft Teams link.

At this event


Professor of Christianity and the Arts

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