The (In)visibility of Theology in Contemporary Art


This seminar in the Sacred Traditions & the Arts series will break from our usual two-speaker format to enable us to hear from the US scholar, Jonathan Anderson—co-author of the ground-breaking Modern Art and the Life of a Culture: The Religious Impulses of Modernism (2016). As prominent art historians like Thomas Crow call for the lifting of the ‘interdiction’ on theology in discussions of modern and contemporary art (No Idols: The Missing Theology of Modern Art), Anderson will explore some of the ways that religion is newly visible in contemporary art, before turning to explore the ways that theology might also make itself newly discussable in the way that such art is interpreted and analyzed.

Jonathan Anderson is an artist, art critic, and associate professor of art at Biola University, where he has been teaching since 2006, as well as a research scholar in theology and the arts at King’s College London. His artworks explore the capacities and limitations of representational painting and have been featured in group and solo exhibitions throughout the United States. In addition to his studio practice, Anderson maintains a research and writing practice focused on modern and contemporary art criticism, with a particular interest in exploring its relations to religion and theology. Professor Anderson has received research fellowships from the Center for Christian Thought and the Nagel Institute. He has contributed to various books and journals, and most recently is the co-author (with theologian William Dyrness) of the book Modern Art and the Life of a Culture: The Religious Impulses of Modernism (IVP Academic, 2016).


There will be time for discussion and questions following the papers. The event will be concluded by an informal reception.

About the seminar series

The seminar on Sacred Traditions and the Arts is a joint venture between the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King’s and The Courtauld. It seeks to place researchers in dialogue who are working on any aspect of the sacred and visual culture. It is open to all scholars and students who have an interest in exploring the intersections of religion and art regardless of period, geography or tradition.

This event has passed.

26 Jun 2019

King’s College London