RUINS birthday extravaganza!!
Well! This week marks the one-year anniversary of my writing this blog on Substack. Instead of a post made up of reflections on what I have learned, how the experience has been, etc., I’m going to use this week’s post to shout out to some other Substack writers inhabiting the Christians-in-the-arts space and showcase the work that they are doing.
Kevin LaTorre writes A Stylist Submits, a personal account of his interactions with the great texts of the past, and his own journey as a novelist. As he explores the ins and outs of the writer’s craft, his Christian faith compels him to puzzle over such questions as “can a writer be reverent and satirical at the same time?”
If you are interested in the literary attributes of the Bible, you will certainly want to check out Adrian Conway’s Scriptourer. He is analyzing the Biblical text verse by verse, explaining its use of literary devices and grappling with the question of why it is even presented as a story at all. He’s been at it for three months and has only covered the first chapter of Genesis, so be prepared for a splendidly detailed ride!
The Young Adult Movie Ministry podcast, hosted by Alissa Wilkinson of Vox and Sam Thielman of Forever Wars, looks closely—and playfully—at movies, with an emphasis on their intersection with Christian culture. A good entry point is their analysis of Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood.
Duncan Reyburn’s Eucatastrophologist is a good read if you want densely-argued explications of what’s going on in our present cultural moment. He doesn’t have an arts focus, but his musings are always on point. He sometimes ventures into Biblical analysis as well—his piece about the story of the prophet Hosea, and how the story relates to current concerns about mediated reality, was an eye-opener.
I would also like to mention two non-Substack newsletters which are always a pleasure. Victoria Emily Jones writes Art and Theology, a roundup-style notice board in which she features an extraordinarily eclectic array of visual art, films, and music from around the world. The link below will take you to a representative post—I have no idea how she finds so many interesting pieces with such regularity!
Artway, co-edited by Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker and Laurel Gasque, is a great resource for anyone interested in a Christian artistic aesthetic. The site features a diverse selection of pieces from across the globe, and their Visual Meditations, which come out every Sunday morning, examine a single painting or sculpture in light of the artist’s faith. Here’s a recent one:
That should be enough to keep you busy reading for a while! Thanks, everyone, for the year so far. Whether you’ve been with me from the beginning, or just signed up last week, I heartily appreciate and value all of you. The time you invest reading my essays is truly a gift.
Do you have an art-and-faith question that you want answered? An idea for a future essay? An artwork that you want me to analyze? Let me know in the comments (or you can reply directly to this email), and I’ll see what can do! Thanks, again, for reading my thoughts! It means more than I can say.