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07 February 2023

Theology and The Visual Arts project announced

The Centre for Arts and the Sacred at King’s is delighted to announce that the McDonald Agape Foundation is generously sponsoring a new, five-year, project: Theology and the Visual Arts: Firming Foundations; Firing Imaginations.

Theology and the Visual Arts
Image: Thomas Denny, The Gerald Finzi Windows, Gloucester Cathedral. Photographs © James O. Davies and Rebecca Lane 2015-16.

Led by Professor Ben Quash, Chair of Christianity and the Arts, and Research Associate Dr Chloë Reddaway, – Theology and the Visual Arts’ purpose is to strengthen the foundations of Theology and the Visual Arts as a discipline within academic Theology, and help to shape its future. The project is built on the success of a previous project – Theology, Modernity, and the Visual Arts (TMVA).

This important new initiative will help the Centre for Arts and the Sacred at King’s further develop its work. That work contributes enormously to the research culture and student experience here at King’s, as well as across Europe and beyond.

Professor Linda Woodhead, Head of Theology and Religious Studies

At the heart of the project will be the building of an international scholarly community, as specialists can frequently work in isolation in this subject area, and the preparation of a set of ground-breaking publications. These will include the first sustained discussion of the sources, norms, and methods underpinning the discipline, which have never been thoroughly considered, and a pioneering study of Christian Systematic Theology using resources of visual art, with an accessible introductory handbook to the discipline, and a monograph on contemporary art and theology. The project will seek to champion scholars who work in both Theology and the Visual Arts.

Professor Quash and Dr Reddaway also plan to showcase their work through a series of major public lectures. Professor Quash explains more; ‘Thanks to the generosity and vision of the McDonald Agape Foundation, we are going to be able to bring together some of the most deeply thoughtful and thought‐provoking scholars in a rapidly emerging and exceptionally vibrant field: theology and the visual arts. Christianity was a religion of visual epiphany before it was a religion of written testimony: the opening to John’s Gospel announces that the first followers of Jesus—the divine ‘Word’ who ‘became flesh and lived among us’—had ‘seen his glory’ (John 1:14). In this tradition, ‘Theology and the Visual Arts’ will be a project in the service of epiphanies.’

King’s has a strong and important history of expertise in theology and The Centre for Arts and the Sacred is central to our internationally celebrated reputation in the field. We are delighted to see a new phase of this work generously supported.

Professor Marion Thain, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities

In this story


Professor of Christianity and the Arts

Chloë Reddaway

McDonald Agape Research Fellow in Theology and the Visual Arts