Bezalel's Body

Bezalel's Body : The Death of God and the Birth of Art

3.8 (5 ratings by Goodreads)
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When God died, art was born. With Christ's crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, the human imagination began to be remade. In Bezalel's Body: The Death of God and the Birth of Art, Harvard-trained art historian Katie Kresser locates the historical roots of the thing we call art. She weaves together centuries of art history, philosophy, theology, psychology, and art theory to uncover the deep spiritual foundations of this cultural form. Why do some people pay hundreds of millions of dollars for a single painting? Why are art museums almost like modern temples? The answer lies in Christian theology and the earliest forms of Christian image making. By examining how cutting-edge art trends reveal age-old spiritual dynamics, Kresser helps recover an ancient tradition with vital relevance for today.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 230 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 12mm | 313g
  • English
  • 1532645643
  • 9781532645648
  • 1,898,355

Review quote

"In this ranging, evocative book, Katie Kresser reframes the way we approach art. Every encounter with a painting is an encounter with otherness, a reminder of a world beyond myself and of a mystery beyond the world. To stand before a painting or a sculpture is to be called into a relationship, one that aims to change me in the process. After this book, you'll never walk through a museum in the same way again."

--James K. A. Smith, Professor of Philosophy, Calvin University, Editor-in-Chief of Image journal

"The old wineskins of art history, visual culture, and traditional theology are unable to contain the wine served up in this volume. Simply put, Bezalel's Body is the most satisfying account of the emergence of art that I have encountered. In conversation with art theory but not captive to it, Kresser is adventurous and faithful to the extreme, offering both an assault on our selfishness and a summons to joy."

--Matthew J. Milliner, Associate Professor of Art History, Wheaton College

"Theologically profound, art-historically wide-ranging, and--best of all--direct, candid, and generous in tone. Bezalel's Body does what it tells us that good art does: it helps us better appreciate the wonder of our own substantial reality, and that of others, and does so in a reconciling spirit. That is, it would like us to be more connected and better connected. The book is refreshing and stimulating in equal measure, with the potential not only to inform its readers but to transform them."

--Ben Quash, Professor of Christianity and the Arts, King's College London
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