The strong God of Exodus. The ancient poetry of the Psalms, and the eternal teachings of Proverbs. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and the mystical beauty of John. The new heaven and earth of Revelation.Bible verses--an enduring source of guidance, peace, and rejuvenation--are here given a very special treatment in colorful letterpress illustrations that bring each phrase to life in a fresh and meaningful way. The verses are drawn from seven translations (including the New International Version, The New Revised Standard Version, and The King James Bible) and arranged in order, beginning with Genesis 1:1. These selections include 100 of the most distinctly meaningful passages of the Old and New Testament, made even more powerful through the transformative lens of art. Like a contemporary update on medieval illuminated manuscripts, the book combines the timeless words of the Bible with timely artwork--in this case, hand-lettering and illustration in a variety of beautiful styles and remarkable aesthetics from 25 contemporary artists. It's a new and vibrant way to experience the living word.
If Leviticus seems an unlikely text for a comic strip, look again. Or rather look at Archie Rand's magnificent series of commandments, The 613. The beauty, terror, and fun are all there in one magic, mesmerizing wall of colored shapes and visual oratory. It's a splendid series.
--John Ashbery " R]ichly colored, always stirring works of visual art... The 613] is something like seeing a cinema-sized version of ancient wisdom transmuted through a comic (and then blown up again)."
"A new book by a trailblazing artist...The 613 pairs mitzvahs with appropriated images from Mad Magazine, pulp and 20th-century illustration. Sometimes the connections are obvious, sometimes intriguingly oblique. It is outrageous and inviting, in-your-face and mysterious, making Rand's case 613 times over."
--David Van Biema, Religion News Service Archie Rand's career as an artist spans five decades and myriad themes and genres. Among his pioneering explorations, The 613 is surely one of his most ambitious feats yet. Without any idea where the work would be exhibited, Rand began transforming each and every one of the 613 mitzvahs, or commandments, into its own breathtaking painting, a series that took five years to complete.
Each of the gorgeous and perplexing panels features a vibrant, unexpected image that brings forth the heart of its law and commands our eyes to linger. Rand is startling and original in his rich color choices, bold characters, and extraordinarily expressive approach. The New York Times describes the paintings as rendered in the style of comics and pulp fiction book jackets, a dash of Mad magazine, a spoonful of Tales of the Crypt, some grotesques, some superheroes, always action, emotion, drama. Whether grotesque or dramatic, each painting provokes a sense of wonder and self-reflection, making The 613 a book to be visited time and time again. Perfect for readers of art, religion, or popular visual culture, The 613 may be the most audacious and distinctive gift book of its kind.
After a long period of comparative neglect, starting almost immediately upon his death in 1900, John Ruskin began to attract, from the 1960s onwards, a remarkable degree of critical interest. Although the formidably ample Library Edition of Ruskin's works will always constitute the primary basis for interpretation, there is also newly available source material, in the form of letters and (in part) diaries, as well as a scintillating body of modern comment to which the present study seeks to contribute.Ruskin had an extraordinary ability to bring together aesthetics, religion, ecology, and social issues in a unitary, overarching vision, all expressed in a prose style worthy of comparison with any in the English language. All Great Art is Praise focuses especially on the themes of art and religion, for Aidan Nichols takes the view that Ruskin's writings on art cannot be appreciated without taking into account at many points his approach to religion. This volume offers an analytic account of Ruskin's principal writings on art, viewed through the lens of Ruskin's religious claims. For readers new to Ruskin, an opening chapter provides an overview of his work in the context of a life that combined public celebrity with private sorrow. Succeeding chapters consider his comments on art and religion in broadly chronological order, ending with the highly innovative open letters to working men, and his moving autobiography which was left unfinished at the time of his descent into madness and death. Ruskin's evaluations of (among others) Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites, the Italian Primitives, and the artists of the high Renaissance, gave the Victorians eyes to see. But his writings call for comment not only from literary scholars and art historians but also from students of ideas since they address a wide range of issues in both theology and philosophy. The volume looks especially closely at Ruskin's changing attitudes to Catholicism. The son of a stoutly Bible-Protestant mother and a father politically opposed to the civil emancipation of Catholics, Ruskin found it increasingly difficult to combine his inherited anti-Catholicism with his appreciation of Byzantine-Venetian, Renaissance-humanist, and Franciscan-evangelical art and the program for living these contained or implied. The rumors in late life of his immanent conversion to Rome proved unfounded, but they were not implausible. All Great Art is Praise seeks to show why.
The Christian canon of scripture, known as the New Testament, excluded many of the Church's traditional stories about its origins. Although not in the Bible, these popular stories have had a powerful influence on the Church's traditions and theology, and a particularly marked effect on visual representations of Christian belief. This book provides a lucid introduction to the relationship between the apocryphal texts and the paintings, mosaics, and sculpture in which they are frequently paralleled, and which have been so significant in transmitting these non-Biblical stories to generations of churchgoers.
Taking vigorous issue with the pervasive Western notion that the arts exist essentially for the purpose of aesthetic contemplation, Nicholas Wolterstorff proposes instead what he sees as an authentically Christian perspective: that art has a legitimate, even necessary, place in everyday life. While granting that galleries, theaters and concert halls serve a valid purpose, Wolterstorff argues that art should also be appreciated in action -- in private homes, in hotel lobbies, in factories and grocery stores, on main street.His conviction that art should be multifunction is basic to the author's views on art in the city (he regards most American cities as dehumanizing wastelands of aesthetic squalor, dominated by the demands of the automobile), and leads him to a helpful discussion of its role in worship and the church. Developing an aesthetic that is basically grounded, yet always sensitive to the human need for beauty, Wolterstorff make a brilliant contribution to understanding how art can serve to broaden and enrich our lives.
Dr. Clyde Kilby was known to many as an early, long and effective champion of C. S. Lewis, and the founder of the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College, IL, for the study of the works of Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and other members of the Inklings. Less known is that Dr. Kilby was also an apologist in his time for arts, aesthetics and beauty, particularly among Evangelicals.This collection offers a sampler of the work of Dr. Clyde Kilby on these themes. He writes reflections under four headings: "Christianity, Art, and Aesthetics"; "The Vocation of the Artist"; "Faith and the Role of the Imagination"; and "Poetry, Literature and the Imagination." With a unique voice, Kilby writes from a specific literary and philosophical context that relates art and aesthetics with beauty, and all that is embodied in the classics. His work is particularly relevant today as these topics are being embraced by Protestants, Evangelicals, and indeed people of faith from many different traditions. A deeply engaging book for readers who want to look more closely at themes of art, aesthetics, beauty and literature in the context of faith.
What can we learn from early Christian imagery about the theological meaning of baptism? Robin Jensen, a leading scholar of early Christian art and worship, examines multiple dimensions of the early Christian baptismal rite. She explores five models for understanding baptism--as cleansing from sin, sickness, and Satan; as incorporation into the community; as sanctifying and illuminative; as death and regeneration; and as the beginning of the new creation--showing how visual images, poetic language, architectural space, and symbolic actions signify and convey the theological meaning of this ritual practice. Considering image and action together, Jensen offers a holistic and integrated understanding of the power of baptism. The book is illustrated with photos.
Replete with inspired illustrations by award-winning artists B.G. Sharma and Mahaveer Swami, Beauty, Power & Gracefeatures Krishna Dharma's dramatic retellings of pivotal ancient Indian stories of the many Hindu Goddesses.Adapted from ancient Sanskrit texts, the stories in Beauty, Power & Grace represent one of the most fundamental aspects of Hinduism--the innumerable manifestations of divinity. Among these, the portrayal of the Goddess is perhaps the most alluring. She appears as a devoted wife, a master of the arts, a terrifying demon slayer, a scornful critic, and a doting mother, to name just a few of her forms. In Vedic tradition, these depictions of the Goddess reflect the belief that male and female are simply different expressions of one supreme, absolute truth. These profound stories are brought together here in an exquisitely illustrated collection that reveals the various manifestations of the Goddess, ranging from the iconic to the obscure: Mother Yashoda peers into her infant's mouth and is astonished to catch a glimpse of the entire universe; Ganga Devi, now synonymous with the sacred river, rides upon a great crocodile and purifies those whom she encounters; and Kali, adorned with a garland of skulls, drinks the blood of her victims on the battlefield. A definitive and timeless celebration of Goddess imagery, symbolism, and lore, Beauty, Power & Grace stunningly displays the fascinating intersection between color, form, and meaning at the heart of Hindu tradition.
In the yoga tradition, bhakti is the path of the heart. This devotional branch of yoga is growing in popularity as increasing numbers of practitioners seek greater peace and more heartfelt connections in their personal and professional lives. Artist and scholar Ekabhumi Charles Ellik invites us to cultivate these feelings of love and connection through coloring, meditation, and art in The Bhakti Coloring Book.Following on the success of The Shakti Coloring Book, Ekabhumi has created 40 brand-new, easy-to-color images from the bhakti tradition. Mandalas, deities, and symbols adorn the pages of this heart-centered book along with guidance for using the images both in spiritual practice and for simple pleasure. Devotional art is an important part of the bhakti tradition, as sacred imagery can shift our consciousness into a naturally meditative state. For experienced artists and novices alike, this book offers an enjoyable entry into this powerful practice.