Art and Culture, or Politics by Other Means—Evangelical Style

Justified by Use Lutheran theologian Oswald Bayer reminds us that in An Essay on Human Understanding, John Locke argues that “person” is a “forensic term.” The need to justify one’s existence to one’s self  and to others, to gain and maintain recognition, is the foundation of the human condition under the sun. In this transactional, [Read More...]

A Buffalo ’66 Theology of Culture

We live in a bipolar and schizophrenic culture. On one hand it is extremely crude and licentious and on the other, excruciatingly puritanical and legalistic. A robust and mature Christian cultural witness recognizes that this is two sides of the same coin, and thus resists the temptation to reduce the radicality of the gospel into [Read More...]

The Final Word on Thomas Kinkade

  Thomas Kinkade My theological analysis of Thomas Kinkade’s work (“The Dark Light of Thomas Kinkade”) was an attempt to make sense of my abiding discomfort with his work as well as respond to my dissatisfaction with the commentary it has generated over the years. Neither his supporters nor his critics have offered compelling arguments. [Read More...]

The Dark Light of Thomas Kinkade

Hans Holbein the Younger, The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb, 1520-22, oil on panel, Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel. In The Idiot (1869), Dostoyevsky’s Prince Mishkin notices a reproduction of Holbein’s Dead Christ on the wall in Rogozhin’s house, and observes that it has the power to make one lose their Christian faith. The [Read More...]

The Scream, a Stuffed Shark, and the Insecurity of Culture

Last week I took the opportunity of the record sale at auction of Edvard Munch’s masterpiece, The Scream (1895) to reflect on Munch and his work from a theological perspective. But the auctions themselves, which achieved record prices for several artists, raise their own set of theological questions that are more productive and interesting than most [Read More...]

The Scream

Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1895 Last week one of Edvard Munch’s four versions of The Scream (1895) sold at auction for a record price of $120 million. An icon of modernism, The Scream was made by a truly great but complicated artist whose remarkable body of work produced throughout his sixty-year career put a sizable [Read More...]


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