Exploring the spiritual imagination in visual culture

Visual Theology is a series of conferences, exhibitions, and publications that explore the relationship between the spiritual imagination and visual culture. It is an independent organisation set up in 2018 by Dr Sheona Beaumont and Madeleine Emerald Thiele.

We work in partnership with educational and faith-based institutions, as well as with artists, arts/heritage organisations, and publishers. Through such creative partnerships we seek to champion faith’s transformative role in the arts and in our lives.

From our twenty-first century perspective, the interpretation of religion and the arts demands an engaged and engaging approach. Visual Theology questions the thematic reduction or historical confinement of more traditional approaches to Christian theology and visual media, seeking to position both as dynamic conversation partners on today’s cultural front line. Sacred texts and images, and the perspectives of creatives, readers and viewers, are more hybrid now than they have ever been. We celebrate the diversity of this culture, and encourage new forms of critical dialogue between church leaders, academic specialists, curators, theologians, and professional artists.

Dr. Sheona Beaumont

Sheona is an artist and writer working with photography, and a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London. She was Bishop Otter Scholar (2017-2020) with the Diocese of Chichester and KCL, curating and writing about the relationship between art and theology. She has written for the Visual Commentary on Scripture, History of Photography, Religion and the Arts, and Art+Christianity, and her artist books include Eye See Trinity (2016, as Artist in Residence at Trinity College Bristol) and Bristol Through the Lens (2011).


Madeleine Emerald Thiele

Madeleine is an art historian whose research examines Tractarian aesthetics and the angelic form within British art c.1840s–1900s. Madeleine has presented papers internationally, taught at the University of Bristol, writes reviews for the Victorian Web, and teaches at Marlborough College Summer School. She was also the Visual Arts Editor for the journal Harts & Minds throughout its lifespan.


Banner image: Mark Dean, Station VI: The Veil of Veronica (offset Halo), 2012; video and sound projection on the Henry Moore altar, St. Stephen Walbrook, 15th April 2017. Featured in Chapter 10 of Transforming Christian Thought in the Visual Arts © Mark Dean