Christ and the Fine Arts: An Anthology of Pictures, Poetry, Music, and Stories Centering in the Life of Christ

Christ and the Fine Arts: An Anthology of Pictures, Poetry, Music, and Stories Centering in the Life of Christ

Christ and the Fine Arts: An Anthology of Pictures, Poetry, Music, and Stories Centering in the Life of Christ

Christ and the Fine Arts: An Anthology of Pictures, Poetry, Music, and Stories Centering in the Life of Christ

Excerpt

The preparation of this anthology on Christ and the Fine Arts has been a remarkably compensating bit of service. The author is perhaps no better fitted than many another lover of beauty to perform this task, except in the fact that since January 1932 she has had, for the first time in a busy, active life, the opportunity to make an unhurried study of the life of Christ as He is portrayed by the four major fine arts--pictures, poetry, music and stories. That this work of love needed to be done by someone is evident since, so far as the author knows, no other such a life of Christ has hitherto been made available.

This anthology has been prepared primarily for youth and leaders of youth, although its author hopes that adults will also find it stimulating and challenging. Twenty years of service with young people and their adult leaders, as an editor, author, and continent-wide superintendent of Young People's Work for the churches of Christ, plus an inborn love of the beautiful constitute the background of experience out of which this volume has grown.

It is the conviction of the compiler of this anthology that if the youth of today, or for that matter of any day, are to get a clear vision and grasp of the contribution which Jesus Christ has made and is making through the centuries to the development and enrichment of human life, that vision and grasp will be better attained by looking at Christ through the eyes of the artist as he portrays the ideal against the background of the real than in any other way.

There is in every heart a love of the beautiful. We are made so that we respond to the ideal and the infinite even though we cannot and do not fully comprehend either. Through the ages men's intellects have been unable to agree about what and who Christ is; but human hearts in every generation have united in love for this matchless personality in whom the ideal of all men individually and collectively is realized. With the poet, Sidney Lanier, we find our own hearts singing:

But Thee, but Thee, O sovereign Seer of Time,
But Thee, O poet's Poet, Wisdom's Tongue,
But Thee, O man's best Man, O love's best Love,
O perfect life in perfect labor writ,
O all men's Comrade, Servant, King, or Priest--
What if and yet, what mole, what flaw, what lapse,
What least defect or shadow of defect,
What rumor, tattled by an enemy,
Of inference loose, what lack of grace
Even in torture's grasp, or sleep's, or death's--

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