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), Edgar Arceneaux (University of Southern California), Amanda Hamilton (Bethel University), and Stuart Krimko (previously David Kordansky Gallery).
For much of the twentieth century, the dominant narratives of modern and contemporary art history, as well as the critical theories used to interpret the artworks featured in those narratives, were extensively shaped by modern secularization theory—the thesis that modernization entails the decline 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 either an adversary or an 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 "return of religion" and a cultural context that appears to be increasingly “postsecular.” This development poses massive questions within the arts: as secularization theory is called into question, so too are the histories and theories of art that were structured by it, prompting careful reconsiderations of the ways that contemporary artmaking has been and continues to be shaped by religious contexts and theological concerns.
The Center for Christianity, Culture, and the Arts is devoting its 2017 annual arts symposium to thinking further about this state of affairs, gathering 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.