While most Christians today view art from a distance and Christian discussions of art focus primarily on artists as lonely dreamers, this has not always been the case. In Putting Art (Back) in its Place Dr. John Skillen, an expert in medieval and Renaissance art and literature, calls for the church to come together as one body to reclaim that rich heritage where art touched the entire believing community.
For quite some time, art played a vital role in the life of the community, assisting Christian community in performing actions that defined their corporate work and identity (their liturgies). Patrons commissioned artists, advisors helped to determine subject matter, and the whole church celebrated and partook in what was eventually displayed.
Skillen offers readers a compelling call to foster a vibrant culture of the arts by restoring and cultivating active and respectful relationships among artists, patrons, scholars, communities and the art they create. Putting Art (Back) in its Place equips laity and clergy to think historically about the vibrant role the visual arts have played--and could again play--in the life of the church and its mission.
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