Recently, the publishers, essayists and myself have picked up a gear or two with the final edits on the forthcoming book “Tikkun Olam”—To Mend the World: A Confluence of Theology and the Arts (Pickwick Publications). The book is a collection of essays premised on a very basic conviction that artists, theologians and others have things to learn from one another, things about the complex interrelationality of life, and about a coherence of things given and sustained by God. The essays therein attend to the lives and burdens and hopes that characterize human life in a world broken but unforgotten, in travail but moving towards the freedom promised by a faithful Creator. More specifically, they reflect on whether the world – wounded as it is by war, by hatred, by exploitation, by neglect, by reason, and by human imagination itself – can be healed. Can there be repair? And can art and theology tell the truth of the world’s woundedness and still speak of its hope?
The Foreword was written by New York-based artist Alfonse Borysewicz, and the Table of Contents reads thus:
- Introduction—Jason Goroncy
- “Prophesy to these Dry Bones”: The Artist’s Role in Healing the Earth—William Dyrness
- Cosmos, Kenosis and Creativity—Trevor Hart
- Re-forming Beauty: Can Theological Sense Accommodate Aesthetic Sensibility?—Carolyn Kelly
- Questioning the Extravagance of Beauty in a World of Poverty—Jono Ryan
- Living Close to the Wound—Libby Byrne
- The Sudden Imperative and Not the Male Gaze: Reconciliatory Relocations in the Art Practice of Allie Eagle—Jo Osborne and Allie Eagle
- Building from the Rubble: Architecture, Memory and Hope—Murray Rae
- The Interesting Case of Heaney, the Critic, and the Incarnation—John Dennison
- New Media Art Practice: A Challenge and Resource for Multimedia Worship—Julanne Clarke-Morris
- Silence, Song, and the Sounding-Together of Creation—Steven Guthrie
Also, Jeremy Begbie and Paul Fiddes were kind enough to read the manuscript and to provide the following endorsements for the book:
‘Artistically sensitive, theologically rich, and eminently readable – this is a rare combination, but it is amply demonstrated in this fascinating set of essays’.
– Jeremy Begbie, Duke Divinity School, Duke University
‘Emerging from a theological symposium and an art exhibition, the essays in this book show in glorious profusion and profundity the marks of this double origin. Theologians, artists, literary scholars, and musicians combine to bear witness to a world that is broken and yet is also the stage for a decisive event of divine love and healing. These are essays full of insights about order and disorder, beauty and tragedy. Their achievement is to make the reader think and, above all, imagine’.
– Paul S. Fiddes, University of Oxford
When the book becomes available, I’ll be sure to let readers here at Per Crucem ad Lucem know.