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