Divinity School Exploring 'Art as Evangelism'

November 30, 2005

 

 

Cut above: paper stencil used for etching on glass  in Divinity's new addition

Cut above: paper stencil used for etching on glass 
in Divinity's new addition

Divinity School faculty and staff members organized a preaching series this fall with two aims in mind: to celebrate art as an expression of faith and to give the community a glimpse of works of art commissioned especially for the school's addition.

Each sermon in the fourteen-part "Art as Evangelism" series, preached by divinity school faculty and staff members, is inspired by a piece of art connected with the addition, which opened last spring.

"For centuries, the church and Christian disciples have used the arts to help express their faith through various media," says Susan Pendleton Jones, the school's director of special programs. "The 'Art as Evangelism' series celebrates this beautiful art and, through powerful preaching, reminds us of the grounding of each piece in Scripture and the life of the church."

L. Gregory Jones M.Div. '85, Ph.D. '88, dean of the divinity school and professor of theology, kicked off the series in late August with a sermon inspired by Margaret Adams Parker's Reconciliation, a bronze sculpture that serves as a visual interpretation of the parable of the prodigal son from Luke 15.

Other works of art celebrated include papercuts etched onto glass that are based on Psalms 42 and 43; a large quilt depicting the Tree of Life from Revelation 22; biblical quotations carved into limestone arches; stained-glass windows; and a late-nineteenth-century marble frieze depicting the baptism of Jesus.