Visual Theology’s inaugural conference, ‘Transformative Looking Between the Visual Arts and Christian Doctrine (1850-Now)’, was held on the 19th and 20th October 2018.

The Call for Papers can be found here. The Keynote lecture from Prof John Harvey, which includes a performance of a sound work based upon Habakkuk 2: 2-3 composed especially for the conference, can be heard here.

Hosted at the Bishop’s Palace, Chichester, West Sussex, with a conference dinner at the Chapel of the Ascension (Bishop Otter Campus, University of Chichester), and including a tour of Chichester Cathedral’s artworks, Visual Theology I paid tribute to enduring engagement between theology and the arts in the region. As well as attracting the specialist expertise of our contributors below, the programme included the performance of Sara Mark’s piece LAVANT 2018 with Compline after the conference dinner, Professor Gill Clarke speaking about the Otter Collection at the University of Chichester, and Sheona Beaumont’s cyanotype installation Scriptorium in the Bishop’s Chapel at the Palace.

The conference was produced in association with the Diocese of Chichester, with the support of the University of Chichester, Aberystwyth University, King’s College London, and Art+Christianity.

Day 1
Panel One: The Visually Discursive Bible
Dr. Sheona Beaumont – Theologies of Realism: Photography in Three Modern Bibles
Dr. Amanda Dillon – Bible Journalling and the New Illuminators
Professor Ben Quash – The Visual Commentary on Scripture: Principles and Platforms
Roundtable with Maciej Urbanek’s HS and a Theology of Installation
Right Revd Dr. Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester
Maciej Urbanek, Artist
Jonathan Anderson, Associate Professor of Art, Biola University
Panel Two: Contemporary Visual Theology in Performance and Participation
Liz Crichton – Can Participatory Art Bring Renewed Faith, Hope and Love to Contemporary Christian Communities?
Revd Martin Poole and Revd Dr. Stephen Roberts – Public Liturgical Theology through Community and Public Art
Lucy Newman Cleeve – Stations of the Cross & Stations of the Resurrection: Case Study of a Collaboration with Mark Dean and Lizzi Kew Ross
Panel Three: Institutional and European Commissioning
Lilia Sokolova – Post-Secular Space: Contemporary Art in Old Active Churches in Germany
Dr. Jonathan Koestlé-Cate – A Sacred Art of the State: Commissioning in France
Dr. Harriet O’Neill and Father John Dickson – The Chapel at Royal Holloway: a Case Study
Keynote Lecture
Professor John Harvey‘The Hearing Ear and the Seeing Eye’: Transformative Listening to the Biblical Image
Day 2
Panel Four: Sacred Symbolism as Discursive Theology
Ewan King – Incarnation, the Virgin & the Visual Artist as Theologian: Marian imagery by David Jones
Dr. Marjorie Coughlan – The ‘Sacred Pastoral’ as the Manifestation of Spirituality in Bishop Giles’s Work
Panel Five: Inherited Visual Theologies and Cultural Cross-Currents
Dr. Brian Murray – Protestant Travellers in Rome and the Legacies of the Apostolic Church, 1840–1870
Dr. Gareth Atkins – “So Great a Cloud of Witnesses”: Saints, Stained Glass and Ecclesiastical Ancestry in the Nineteenth Century
Revd Canon Dr. Joanna Collicutt – ‘The Stripping of the Altars’: Frederic Leighton and the Modern Shift from Religious Devotion to Aesthetic Veneration
Panel Six: Pre-Raphaelite Theologies and the Victorian Imagination
Dr. Farrukh Rafiq – William Holman Hunt and Victorian Religious Identity
Katherine Hinzman – Love Between Worlds: The Theological Aesthetic of Edward Burne-Jones
Dr. Flora Armetta – George MacDonald, Julia Margaret Cameron, and the Spiritual Photograph
Keynote Lecture
Revd Dr. Ayla Lepine – Love and Wonder: Contemporary Art in Dialogue with Medieval Cathedrals

Banner image: Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Angels Leading the Flight to Egypt, 1862, St Michael and All Angels, Brighton.