Why do the arts matter so much to people of religious faith? It is often assumed that the arts are chiefly concerned with pulling us out of this world of space and time into some completely different, supposedly superior world, and that this is why they are so appealing to religion.
In this lecture, Prof. Jeremy Begbie challenges this view. He argues that the arts are crucial to faith because they immerse us in this world in a way that is bodily rooted, emotionally engaged, and socially uniting. As they do this, they make us wonder if there is anything other than this world.
The lecture is illustrated extensively with Begbie’s performance at the piano.
Jeremy Begbie is the inaugural holder of the Thomas A. Langford Research Professorship in Theology at Duke Divinity School, and founding Director of Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts. He teaches systematic theology, and specialises in the interface between theology and the arts. His particular research interest is the interplay between music and theology. A professionally trained musician, he is also Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Music at the University of Cambridge. He is author of a number of books, including most recently, Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music (Bakers/SPCK).