Join us for the 12th Annual Biola Arts Symposium
Saturday, March 4, 2017 from 9:00am to 5:00pm

A one-day conference hosted by the Center for Christianity, Culture, and the Arts
Biola University, La Mirada, CA

featuring Sally M. Promey (Yale University), James Elkins (School of the Art Institute of Chicago), Lori Branch (University of Iowa), Jeffrey Kosky (Washington and Lee University), and several more artists and scholars.

For much of the twentieth century, the dominant narratives of modern and contemporary art history, as well as the dominant critical theories used to interpret the artworks featured in those narratives, were extensively shaped by modern secularization theory—the thesis that modernization entails the waning of religious thought and practice in a society. As a result, the canonical writing of nineteenth- and twentieth-century art history has tended to treat religion as an adversary or as a largely irrelevant vestige from the past. Over the past two decades, however, the secularization thesis has extensively unraveled, causing many scholars to wrestle with the implications of a cultural hermeneutic (and indeed of a cultural condition) that appears to be increasingly “postsecular.” The development of this postsecularity poses massive questions within the arts: as secularization theory is called into question, so too are the dominant histories (and critical theories) of art that were structured by it, prompting careful reconsiderations of the religious contexts within which they emerged and the theological concerns with which they were engaged. These reconsiderations are well under way, and yet much work remains to be done, particularly with regards to contemporary artmaking.

The Center for Christianity, Culture, and the Arts is devoting its 2017 annual arts symposium to thinking further about this state of affairs. This symposium series will gather several influential artists and scholars (from a variety of perspectives) to address the question of how postsecularity is reshaping the making and interpretation of visual art in contemporary society.

Schedule and list of presenters is forthcoming.
Please check back for additional information.


Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639