The Shimmering Illumination
of God’s Presence
A Review of
The Faithful Artist. A Vision for Evangelicalism and the Arts
Paperback: IVP Academic, 2016
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Reviewed by by Rhodara Shreve
This review first appeared on the Artway website,
and is reprinted here with permission.
Cameron Anderson has written a compelling book of Evangelicalism’s historical role in shaping religious life as well as tracing the unique focus of this particular stream as to the visual arts. As the historical context has played a role in shaping the acceptance of artistic expressions, Anderson brings a breadth of perspective by reviewing the different philosophical and theological developments of thought that impacted how various artists redefined and revolutionized this historical flow. By weaving together the impact of different individuals who were key in influencing the thinking of various periods up to our current age of postmodernism, he notes artistic expressions that uniquely reflected these prevailing views. Bringing together an interfacing of Evangelicals with their cultural contexts as well as with Catholic and Orthodox artistic contributions, he shows how these streams of Christianity sometimes evoked extreme theological reactions resulting in dramatic effects on art within the church. The conflict between word and image has been an enduring tension for Evangelicals, to say the least.