Gestures of Grace: Essays in Honour of Robert Sweetman

Gestures of Grace: Essays in Honour of Robert SweetmanCurrents in Reformational Thought series. Edited by Joshua Lee HarrisHéctor Acero Ferrer. Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2023.

Publisher's Overview:

Gestures of Grace is a celebration of the life and career of Robert Sweetman, H. Evan Runner Chair in the History of Philosophy at the Institute for Christian Studies (2001-2023). These essays, written by students and colleagues, testify to the remarkable breadth and depth of Sweetman's research and teaching, from his early scholarly career at the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies to his time at ICS. Throughout the volume, there is extensive engagement with Sweetman's influential historical scholarship on topics such as the emergence and development of the Dominican order in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, medieval women authors, Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus, and indeed on Sweetman's own systematic contribution to the nature and promise of Christian scholarship today.

Praise for Gestures of Grace:

“Joshua Lee Harris and Héctor A. Acero Ferrer’s collection of essays in honor of Prof. Robert Sweetman is a remarkably fine tribute to an outstanding medievalist and Christian scholar who engages in contemporary as well as historical thought. The collection, unlike so many other Festschriften, offers studies by a wide-ranging group of contributors who enter into dialogue with the equally catholic work of the scholar honored. No better tribute could be imagined for so broad, yet scholarly and keenly philosophical a mind, as Sweetman’s.”

—Timothy B. Noone, chair in philosophy, The Catholic University of America

The Artistic Sphere: The Arts in Neo-Calvinist Perspective

The Artistic Sphere: The Arts in Neo-Calvinist Perspective. Edited by Roger D. Henderson & Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker. Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2024.

Available at: InterVarsity Press

Publisher's Overview:

While some Christians have embraced the relationship between faith and the arts, the Reformed tradition tends to harbor reservations about the arts. However, among Reformed churches, the Neo-Calvinist tradition—as represented in the work of Abraham Kuyper, Herman Dooyeweerd, Hans Rookmaaker, and others—has consistently demonstrated not just a willingness but a desire to engage with all manner of cultural and artistic expressions.

This volume, edited by art scholar Roger Henderson and Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker, the daughter of art historian and cultural critic Hans Rookmaaker, brings together history, philosophy, and theology to consider the relationship between the arts and the Neo-Calvinist tradition. With affirmations including the Lordship of Christ, the cultural mandate, sphere sovereignty, and common grace, the Neo-Calvinist tradition is well-equipped to offer wisdom on the arts to the whole body of Christ.


    Roger D. Henderson and Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker

Part One: Roots
1. Geneva's Artistic Legacy: From Calvin to Today
    Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker

2. Calvin and the Arts: Pure Vision or Blind Spot?

3. Rumors of Glory: Abraham Kuyper's Neo-Calvinist Theory of Art
    Roger D. Henderson

4. Dooyeweerd's Aesthetics
    Roger D. Henderson

Part Two: Art History
5. Art, Meaning, and Truth
    Hans R. Rookmaaker
    Looking with Historical Depth: Hugo van der Goes, Filippino Lippi and Albrecht Dürer

6. The Vocation of a Christian Art Historian: Strategic Choices in a Multicultural Context
    E. John Walford
    Ridentem dicere verum—Pieter Bruegel’s Peasant Wedding of Circa 1567

7. More than Can Be Seen: Tim Rollins and K.O.S.'s I See the Promised Land
    James Romaine

Part Three: Aesthetics
8. The Halo of Human Imaginativity
    The Meaning of the Crucifixion: Grünewald and Perugino

9. Rethinking Art
    Nicholas Wolterstorff
    The Social Protest Meaning of the Graphic Art of Käthe Kollwitz

10. Imagination, Art, and Civil Society: Re-envisioning Reformational Aesthetics
    Redemptive Art Criticism

11. Art, Body, and Feeling: New Roads for Neo-Calvinist Aesthetics
    Chris Ofili: Contemporary Art and the Return of Religion

Part Four: Theology and Art
12. The Theology of Art of Gerardus van der Leeuw and Paul Tillich
    Wessel Stoker

13. The Elusive Quest for Beauty
    William Edgar

14. Fifty-Plus Years of Art and Theology: 1970 to Today
    Victoria Emily Jones