Jeremy Begbie, professor of theology at Duke Divinity School, has spent much of his life focusing on the intersections of the arts, faith and theology. Now I know, often artists write off theologians and academicians because we think they don’t “get” us artists, but I can assure you Dr. Begbie gets us!! He is indeed one of us!! A musician in his own right, he has been spear-heading arts initiatives at seminaries and universities across the world, making sure professors, pastors and religious thinkers know that the arts have a vital role to play in the Church!
His books (with short reviews/descriptions from Amazon reviewers) include:
Voicing Creation’s Praise: Towards a Theology of the Arts is “for those interested in serious theological reflection on art. Begbie’s unique background as a classically-trained musician and Cambridge theologian gives him wonderful insight and Spirit-led authority in dealing with this critical cultural topic. Moreover, Begbie breaks free of the Modernist stranglehold on aesthetic philosophy, and presents a refreshing and deeply Christocentric analysis of the relationship between the character and action of God and human creativity.” I’ll warn you, this book is expensive, so look into borrowing it from the library.
Theology, Music and Time: “I have got to be in the lower 10% of the population as it relates to natural musical abilities and listening to me sing is actually quite painful. Having said that, there has always been a certain power that music seems to have over me. It is powerful . . . Music affects my emotions in a very unique way that other experiences don’t. I have spent time asking the questions of why and exploring certain answers mostly found in popular culture, but there has never been a satisfactory explanation for me. In comes Begbie’s book. Much of the technical side of the book was very foreign to me, in fact it was almost like reading a foreign language at times. However, the central message of the book awakened something in me that I hope will lead to an increased appreciation for music, a new immersion into a gift that has been given by God to help us understand his world and ultimately himself in deeper ways and a new perspective to reflect on theological subjects. This book was hard work for me to get through, but it really was worth it.” Again, expensive, but this can also be rented from Amazon.
Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music is a “reasonably priced volume aimed at a non-academic audience. It is a kind of introductory course on how Christians have sought to understand what music really is and to discover both the source of, and proper uses of, the powers of music to enhance life and deepen faith. . . He overviews everything that the Bible says about musical instruments. In the main part of the book he presents his own work and thoughts on the subject. . . . It is very thought provoking, profound, and wonderful.”
There are also several videos with Dr. Begbie on YouTube worth looking into, as well! He has much to offer!
Blessings of ARTistry, CREATivity & BEaUty, Jody
P.S. Missed previous posts? Click here.