S3E4: Cameron Anderson on Arts and Faith

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Faith and the arts have a complicated relationship. While the historic Church often served as patrons for painters, musicians, and sculptors, artists today often feel alienated from faith communities. How can artists integrate their faith and work, even when their work isn't explicitly "Christian?" Cam Anderson, author of The Faithful Artist, joins us to talk about the ways the church can recognize and support the work of artists.


On the relationship between the Church and the arts:

"It was certainly not the case that all Protestants were against the visual arts. Luther was an enormous fan of the visual arts and associated with very important Northern Renaissance artists. My particular interest in the modern period, it turns out that many people, many modern artists in the modern art movement would, fascinated with spirituality, some even with Christian themes, others hostile. But, it'd be really inaccurate to just say that modern art was against Christian faith. Faith and art intermingle and sometimes they're in opposition, but sometimes forces all the way through the history of art in the West and probably, really religion around the world."

On the arts as a calling:

"In the tradition that I grew up in, the people who are most celebrated in terms of serving God were pastors, missionaries, and people who'd given themselves to what we call full-time Christian ministry. In my early life experience, I just didn't have categories for the visual arts as a high calling."

On the cultural importance of the arts:

"If we are going to be faithful witnesses in the world, we need to understand our culture. I think the arts felt a lot more relevant because of that."


Get Cam's book, The Faithful Artist.*Join us on Thursday, Set. 26, for our arts event featuring Cam and Erik Lokkesmoe.Download the episode transcript.

*–Purchase with purpose. Amazon donates to Denver Institute when you shop at smile.amazon.com.