DITA is pleased to announce the creation of the Bowden Th.D. Scholarship in the Visual Arts. Through the generosity and vision of Sandra and Robert Bowden, Duke Divinity School will now offer five years of funding for a doctoral student doing research at the intersection of Theology and the Visual Arts.
This spring, five graduating students in Duke Divinity’s Master of Divinity (M.Div) and Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) programs presented their terminal theses as part of DITA’s new Certificate in Theology and the Arts (CTA). This was the first research colloquium for the Certificate, which provides Masters level students an avenue to integrate the arts into their faith and work.
Presentations ranged from speculative theology to cultural criticism to service-learning projects completed during field education placement.
In April 2018, DITA director, Professor Jeremy Begbie spoke at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Nashville, Tennessee for their seventh annual art show.
Sixty artists showed 80 works that included paintings, photography, mixed media, and sculpture. The show was organized around the theme of light inspired by a parish initiative to encourage being a “light in the city.” Professor Begbie gave an evening talk on “Hearing Freedom Through Music” as a part of the weekend opening of the show.
This spring, DITA co-hosted Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet with Duke Divinity Center for Reconciliation to perform at Duke Divinity chapel services and take part in a lunchtime panel discussion. Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet serves to “love and serve all” as the church embodied through the visible form of dance. The performance, “Roar of Nations,” was based on renditions of various Psalms on God’s comfort and God’s majesty over the nations. The dances were accompanied by readings in Hebrew.
DITA welcomed back Dr. Natalie Carnes as part of our Distinguished Lecture Series in Theology and the Arts in the Spring of 2018.
Dr. Carnes’ lecture, titled The New Iconoclasm: A Christological Reflection on Making and Breaking Images, drew important historical and Scriptural connections between modern images and how people both break and make them. Iconoclasm responds to the way images are more than their literal existence — the way they mediate something beyond their materiality.
This winter, DITA partnered with Duke University Chapel to host Beauty Given by Grace: The Biblical Prints of Sadao Watanabe, a series of fifty katazome stencil prints on biblical themes by Japanese Christian artist, Sadao Watanabe (1913-1996). On loan from the Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA) organization, the exhibition featured original momogami and washi prints, cards, and calendars from the collections of Sandra Bowden and John A. Kohan.
DITA is thrilled to announce that director, Dr. Jeremy Begbie, has two upcoming books from Eerdmans Publishing and Baker Publishing Group. The first, Redeeming Transcendence in the Arts: Bearing Witness to the Triune God, was published February 2018 (available for purchase HERE), and the second, A Peculiar Orthodoxy: Reflections on Theology and the Arts, was published August 2018 (available for purchase HERE).
Carole Baker premiered her interactive exhibition, “Mary: The Paper Doll Project,” with an opening lecture at Duke University Chapel on Wednesday, December 20th at 2pm. The premier followed the annual Duke Chapel by Candlelight Christmas Open House. Baker, an associate research and a Th.D. student at the Divinity School, created the project that presents different cultural depictions of the Virgin Mary. The exhibition consisted of four life-sized “paper dolls” which allowed viewers to interchange the outer layers of the dolls, resulting in the exploration of the universality and particularity of Marian manifestations.
We are thrilled to announce that DITA has entered into the second of a multi-year partnership with St. George’s Episcopal Church in Nashville, Tennessee. This pioneering initiative grows out of and reflects DITA’s mission to be anchored and expressed in local congregations. As a church with an extraordinary commitment to the visual and musical arts, St. George’s is uniquely placed to benefit from the research and teaching in theology and the arts at DITA as well as to help future ministers put into practice this crucial area of the church’s worship and mission. The mutually-enriching collaboration between St. George’s and DITA is a unique opportunity to launch what we hope will become a much larger and nation-wide initiative.