In one of his many public addresses, Anglican Bishop of Durham N.T. Wright laments the fact that much of our art reflects either the sentimental or the brutal that lies around and within us.
But genuine art, he said, takes seriously the fact that the world is full of the glory of God, and responds to the awareness of what is true (the beauty that is there), the awareness of what will one day be true (what he calls “ultimate beauty”), and the awareness of the pain of the present. And great art holds these qualities together, and asks why and what and where are we.
When we find it difficult to face the messy and nasty and horrible in our lives, and we just can’t imagine the world being any other way, it’s time to reach for the consolation of music and the arts, to smarten up our imagination.
Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 30 May 2010.
Theologian, researcher, teacher, writer, foodie, husband, dad. Works at Moore Theological College.