Genesis-Inspired Art Comes to CTS

Just as sacred stories have inspired artistic expression, artistic creation has helped to illuminate religious tradition, to expand and deepen its reach. That is the thinking behind a creative community experiment taking place this semester on the campuses of Butler University and Christian Theological Seminary.

New Perspectives on Genesis: The Binding of Isaac in Art, Music and Word is the culminating exhibition of Religion, Spirituality and the Arts: A Symposium -- a six-week seminar designed to re-open the dialogue between artistic expression and religious tradition. The artists represented will be Dawn Batson, Jean Benabou, Dan Cooper, John Domont, Casey Eskridge, Jason Griffith, Pam Blevins Hinkle, David Landis, Ray Marquette, Callie Smith, Julie Stewart and Denise Williams – all seminar participants from diverse artistic disciplines, practices and religious/spiritual perspectives who took part in six intensive workshops to gather sustained study and reflection on a Biblical text. The works to be displayed and performed at CTS were developed during this process.

  • New Perspectives on Genesis: The Binding of Isaac in Art, Music and Word. 
  • Wednesday, April 30 l 5 pm – 7:30 pm
  • Art Reception at 5 pm I Shelton Auditorium Lobby
  • Performances at 6 pm l CTS Common Room

 The narrative of “The Binding of Isaac” (Genesis 22) raises many theological and human questions and has been the inspiration for musical compositions, paintings, sculptures and poetry. The Religion, Spirituality and the Arts seminar is directed by religious leader and author Rabbi Sandy Sasso, who has served as adjunct faculty at both Butler and CTS. Other symposium faculty include Dr. Hilene Flanzbaum, Dr. Elizabeth Mix and Dr. Michael Sells, professors of creative writing, religion, art, music, dance and theater respectively, from Butler University and Dr. Frank Burch Brown, theologian of the arts on faculty at Christian Theological Seminary.

“It is remarkable in our day when a seminar can bring scholars and teachers of different arts and religions together with a dozen practicing artists,” said Dr. Brown. “Spirituality comes to its senses, so to speak, when those diverse artists are working with no constraints except to attend, study, respond, and create—all in relation to a key, and much debated, biblical text.”

Proposed workshop dates for the Fall 2014 "Religion, Spirituality, and the Arts: A Symposium," are September 16, 23, October 7, 14, 28 and November 4 with a culminating exhibition/program planned for early 2015. For more information on how to apply before May 15th, go to: http://www.butler.edu/faith-vocation/how-to-apply/. This project is made possible through the support of Lilly Endowment Inc.

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