Recapturing the Art in Theology Wheaton College Invites Public to Discussion by Academics, Artists

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Byline: Victoria Pierce Daily Herald Correspondent

Thoughts of religious art bring church windows and hymns to mind.

But the intersection of art, beauty and theology offers a perspective that reaches well beyond the walls of a church building.

Academics and artists will gather Thursday at Wheaton College to discuss the need to bring beauty and art back into theological discussions. The three-day conference, "The Beauty of God: Theology and the Arts," will feature lectures and discussions with experts from across the country and England.

The conference will feature many different art forms including film, literature, music and visual art. Each session will include someone with a more academic background as well as someone with an artist's perspective, said Mark Husbands, a Wheaton College assistant professor of theology who is helping organize the conference.

Local residents may also want to attend any of the three free keynote addresses including "The Beauty of Belief" by Wheaton College faculty member Roger Lundin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Barrows Auditorium, Billy Graham Center, 500 College Ave., Wheaton.

Husbands said that at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday, University of Cambridge faculty member Jeremy Begbie, who is also a concert pianist, will "lecture from the piano."

Husbands added that for many years beauty and art were an integral part of theology. But in the 20th century, art and beauty became detached from theology as wars and other social issues created a deepening crisis of order. …