2013 Art Conference


Violence & Peace in Contemporary Art Conference

This is the eighth in a series of symposiums created and hosted by the Biola University Department of Art. Our presenters unpacked the most constructive models for understanding portrayals of violence and peace, the way these portrayals have functioned, and how they have affected individuals and communities in our culture.

Beauty, Being, and Kenosis: the Aesthetics of the Incarnation

Dr. David Bentley Hart evaluates several aesthetic philosophies, demonstrating how they fall short of properly defining beauty. He argues that beauty is neither a result of mere form and tactic nor merely brilliance and intrigue. Instead, beauty is found in the gratuitous presence of good whose existence is not necessary. Hart goes on to explain how the incarnation demonstrates the total beauty of God.

Being, Consciousness, Bliss: Beauty as Knowledge of God

Dr. David Bentley Hart explains a philosophy of beauty based on the contingency of existence. He states that the existence of a contingent reality points to the existence of an absolute reality. Likewise, most if not all objects of a contingent reality cannot be desired in themselves but rather are desired for transcendent qualities belonging to the absolute reality. This, Hart argues, is beauty.


David Bentley Hart, is an Orthodox theologian, philosopher, and cultural commentator, whose specialties include philosophical theology, patristics, and aesthetics. Hart has been published in various periodicals including, Pro EcclesiaThe Scottish Journal of TheologyFirst Things, and The New Criterion. He has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of St. Thomas, Duke Divinity School, and Loyola College in Baltimore. Hart is the author of seven books including Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth (Eerdmans, 2004), which has been lauded by The Christian Century as “one of the most brilliant works by an American theologian in the past ten years.” His two most recent books are The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami? (Eerdmans, 2011), and The Devil and Pierre Gernet: Stories, his first work of fiction (Eerdmans, 2012).

Violent Bear It Away: 12 Artists Respond to Violence

To accompany the conference, an exhibition of art by 12 artist was curated by Jeff Rau. Each of the artists in this exhibition have been struck by an awareness of violence, the scars of which are seen etched on bodies, inflicted upon the landscape, and cut into our memories. They now stand on the other side of their own awakening, unable to turn back, compelled to respond. The specific violence examined by each artist varies greatly: from the substantial physical cost of war to the abstract metaphysical violence of representation/ memory; and from the oppressive action of human institutions to the sublimely terrifying forces of nature.

To access the catalog of work click below:

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