Earlier this month, Mark Mynell posted his excellent talk on Christian imagination and the arts, which he gave for members of the CU at London’s University of the Arts.
In particular, I found the point about artists being prophets to be very interesting and challenging:
It is a fact those involved in the arts and media are the prophets of our generation. It is no longer the philosophers, the statesmen or the preachers. The prophetic is more likely to be discovered in the Tate Modern or National Theatre is it is in a cathedral or House Commons. Which means that there is an inﬂuence you have that most of us do not. And I hope that you’re intimidated by that. You should be!
However, one of the things I’ve been mulling over in the past few weeks, since reading this, was the difference between ‘creative’ artists and what we might call ‘recreative’ artists. As Mark noted in the discussion in the comments that followed, he was aware that “this doesn’t address those who are performers or re-creators”. Much of what I’ve read on the topic of thinking Christianly about art tends to deal with the creative arts: painters, writers, composers – those who create new works. But what about those of us who are interpreting and performing someone else’s work. How are the recreative artists among us to think about all this? How do we integrate our faith into our work in the way a creative artist might?
I was lamenting that I didn’t know of any resources where people had been thinking through these issues (recognising that I’m just beginning to, and my knowledge of the literature is rather slim indeed), and thankfully I was given this list of resources relating to theatre and theology. There’s certainly a few of things there to read!
I think this is an important thing to be thinking about, and I’d love to know what others are thinking in this area.