Item description for State of the Arts: From Bezalel to Mapplethorpe (Turning Point Christian Worldview Series) by Gene Edward Veith Jr & Marvin Olasky...
Overview We cannot escape the arts. They permeate our lives and our culture - the decor, architecture, music, entertainment, everyday utensils. The imagination of this age, its ideas and concerns, percolate throughout the culture via the arts. These ideas affect us for good or for evil. The choice is not whether to live with art; we must choose whether to live with good art or bad art. Art - like all things human - needs to be redeemed. Christians cannot abandon the arts to the secular world, but can use them to display God's glory. This book will help us develop an informed artistic taste, open yet critical, discerning yet appreciative of what is truly excellent.
We cannot escape the arts. They permeate our lives and our culture--the decor, architecture, music, entertainment, everyday utensils. The imagination of this age, its ideas and concerns, percolate throughout the culture via the arts. These ideas affect us for good or for evil. The choice is not whether to live with art; we must choose whether to live with good art or bad art. Art--like all things human--needs to be redeemed. Christians cannot abandon the arts to the secular world, but can use them to display God's glory. This book will help us develop an informed artistic taste, open yet critical, discerning yet appreciative of what is truly excellent.
"State of the Arts wisely steers Christians between the two extremes of accepting inane cultural trends or dismissing all cultural pursuits as worldly. The book establishes a strong Biblical context for understanding expressions of human creativity and powerfully defends art as a gift from God. Here is a much-needed counterattack on the aesthetic terrorism by entrenched enemies on the true, the good, and the beautiful." --Ken Myers, author of All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes
"Dr. Veith's book stresses an important and often overlooked truth: that no one, professing Christians included, can afford to ignore the arts. They have profound effects on us, our children, and our society. This book is both highly entertaining and intellectually and aesthetically rewarding. It suggests ways to counter the decadence and corruption that plagues the contemporary art world." --Joseph Baldacchino, President, National Humanities Institute
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Studio: Crossway Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.4" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.7" Weight: 0.7 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 1991
Publisher Crossway Books/Good News
Series Turning Point Christian Worldvie
ISBN 0891076085 ISBN13 9780891076087
Availability 0 units.
More About Gene Edward Veith Jr & Marvin Olasky
Gene Edward Veith (PhD, University of Kansas) serves as the provost and professor of literature at Patrick Henry College, where he also oversees both academic affairs and student affairs. He previously worked as the culture editor of World magazine. Veith and his wife, Jackquelyn, have three grown children and seven grandchildren.
Reviews - What do customers think about State of the Arts: From Bezalel to Mapplethorpe (Turning Point Christian Worldview Series)?
Definition of Art Too Narrow Nov 6, 2006
'State of the Arts' attempts to define what art is from a Christian perspective. I have no problem with this, being a long-time and devoted Christian, but I'm not sure I buy into everything Gene Veith says. His definition is largely defined by the biblical account of God's instruction to Bezalel the Old Testament artist for the Tabernacle and Temple; art in general, Veith says, must be creative, intelligent, beautiful, and exalting. I completely agree that modern 'works' such as the crucifix in [...], and the homoerotic photographs of Mapplethorpe lie outside of the purview of what art is; but should Andy Warhol's `Campbell's Soup Cans' also be excluded from the realm of what is considered art because Warhol copied the cans instead of creating them? (He created the idea that makes his statement on consumerism). I actually like modern art (with exceptions, of course) without buying into the 'worldview' any particular point of view expresses; I actually think it is critically important to be able to see into other worldviews as an aid to the evangelical aspect of my faith. That said, I completely agree with Veith's view on modern bohemianism and the cult of the artist as a sort of shaman: the elitist concept, for example, that only certain enlightened people 'get' blank canvasses and while the rest of us just thinks the emperor has no clothes (well-expressed by blank canvases, I think).
This book is a worthy read because Veith at least gives the definition of art a good shot. I just think his view is a little narrow.
A Firm Foundation for Additional Study Jul 31, 2005
Veith takes on a large topic in a small volume and faces the limitations thus imposed. Having said that, the book meets its target of providing a brief, lucid framework as a point of reference from which the Christian can begin to explore art as a more informed consumer. Because of the necessity of describing some quite objectionable subject matter in covering the entire breadth of what masquerades as art in the post-modern world, "State of the Arts" should be read by an adult audience. A quite readable and very useful work. Recommended.
smut disguised as christianity Feb 5, 2005
My 15 year old daughter is studying this book in history. Not art history, just history. I saw this book in her room and picked it up when I saw "Mapplethorpe" on the cover. My daughter is in a private Christian school so I never in a million years would have thought she'd be learning anything about this freak. I was wrong, she got to learn about Mapplethorpe's photos of men urinating into the mouths of other men. Oh, and Annie Sprinkle's performance art consisting of masturbating then letting customers examine her private parts with a flashlight. I fail to see the reasoning of such graphic descriptions disguised as "Christian" information.
It's A Start Apr 17, 2001
Veith tries to tackle a subject that has long been neglected - Christianity and art from biblical times to the postmodern era. Although he gives an acceptable overview for a 230 page paperback, there are many areas where he is just too simplistic.
Veith attempts to create an absolute of the "Christian artist" based on the Tabernacle work of Bezalel. That may be as erroneous as creating a flat world from the scripture verse that deals with "the four corners of the earth."
He makes quick generalized statements about non-Christian artists without being able to back them up - "Jackson Pollock's experiments in the random patterns made by paint flung onto a canvas, might exhibit some cleverness, I suppose - as in, whoever would think to do such a thing? - but no real intelligence or knowledge." Those of us who are artists, however, know better (Veith is an English professor). Pollock's work shows a remarkable amount of knowledge and mastery: The intricate rhythmic harmonies passed down from his mentor, Thomas Hart Benton; the "dance" of the western plains' indians now reproduced in an "action painting"; the understanding of how paint drips and flows (as seen in splatterings of nature); the knowledge of color harmonies; etc.
Veith also comments on Duchamp's inability to create art with his "ready-mades" (An idea championed by Francis Schaeffer). However, this is Duchamp's point. Art not only can be the idea and conception of the artist, but also, art exists around us in all forms that generally go overlooked. Duchamp expanded the narrow vision of the Christian artist and their understanding of creativity and freedom.
Until a writer/artist comes forward to write something of this nature, State of the Arts will have to do. Just remember to proceed with caution and don't buy the whole package.
Recommended to the Christian Artist/Educator Mar 26, 2000
Most helpful in this book, and probably unique compared to similar books, is "Part 2: The Biblical Foundations". (Sure, I had read Francis Shaeffer's "Art and the Bible"...But this may be a little more in-depth.) The chapters are called: "6)The Vocation of Bezalel" (the calling of the artist) "7)The Works of Bezalel"(various types of art sanctioned by scripture) "8)The Idolotry of Aaron" (Biblical example of a gifted artist who's art went arwy)
As a painter, I also found the chapter "Art and the Church" both encouraging and challenging. Dr Veith points to the centrality of the Word of God and the limitations of art & aesthetics compared to the Gospel. Very helpful.
I do not find Dr Veith's critique of the Art World to be too extreme, or as un-compassionate as a previous reader does. Considering the overall context of this book, it seems to me that Dr Veith emphasizes the high standard and purpose of Scripture for the arts, and invites Christians to join in on embracing these truths.