ART in ORVIETO 2017
Seminar and workshop in Orvieto, Italy, exploring the relationship of
ART, RELIGION, AND THEOLOGY
June 18 – July 15, 2017
ART IN ORVIETO is an advanced four-week summer program in art, religion, and theology offered by the Institute for Christian Studies in the Toronto School of Theology (Toronto, Canada) under art history and aesthetics professor Dr. Rebekah Smick, in collaboration with the Studio for Art, Faith & History.
The program offers an ecumenical exploration of Christian understandings of the arts. It provides a residency designed for artists, graduate students in relevant fields, and other adult learners interested in engaging the intersection of art, religion, and theology.
See the program website for full details.
The Classical Academic Press Summer Seminar
What has Jerusalem to do with Athens?
July 16 - August 7, 2017, Orvieto
The Studio for Art, Faith & History has partnered with the Classical Academic Press to host two two-week study programs in Orvieto, the first for students from classical-Christian academies around the United States, and the second for teachers and administrators from such schools.
For complete information, plus attractive photographs and videos, see the program website.
Tertullian’s question, asked around the year 200, remains as new as it is old: “What has Jerusalem to do with Athens, the church with the academy?”
On what terms have educated Christians over the centuries allowed the classical and the Christian—the Greco-Roman and the Judeo-Christian intellectual heritages—to mix in the same classroom?
No classical-Christian academy can avoid articulating an apologia for Why Christians Should Read The Pagan Classics—to cite the subtitle of Louis Markos’s recent book, From Achilles to Christ.
What is the Christian mind to make of the rich and sophisticated heritage of classical thought, literature and culture, so full of useful tools of learning, so astute in its exploration and analysis of nature and history, of the human psyche and the polis, of human artistic endeavors … and yet falling short of a wisdom unto salvation? Dante’s Virgil can lead the pilgrim only so far.
The historic clifftop town of Orvieto offers an inspirational setting to reflect on this theme. The town itself is an archeological-architectural palimpsest of the Etruscan, Roman, medieval, and Renaissance strata present everywhere in contemporary Orvieto. The classical is notably integrated with the Christian in the decoration of the Orvieto Duomo. One could hardly ask for a richer distillation of our theme than is found in the magnificent fresco cycle of the End Times, Last Things, and Last Judgment in the San Brizio Chapel.
Jerusalem & Athens Winter Seminar in Orvieto, Italy.
December 30, 2017 to January 13, 2018
JAF291: What is a Good Life? Moral Philosophy in Medieval and Renaissance Europe
The Studio for Art, Faith & History joins forces with the Center for Faith & Inquiry to offer an annual seminar that combines the great books, Socratic approach of the Center for Faith & Inquiry’s Jerusalem & Athens Forum honors program with the emphasis of the Gordon IN Orvieto semester program on experiencing great art and great books “in situ”—in their original settings. Registration for undergraduate students includes discounted tuition for the 4-credit course. Alumni and adult learners will pay only the costs of the program.
The seminar opens up to a wider circle of students, alumni and adult learners the theme that gives the Jerusalem & Athens Forum (JAF) program its name: Tertullian's question, asked in the year 200, “What has Jerusalem to do with Athens, the Church with the Academy?”
Each January this special Great Books/Great Sites Winter Seminar applies Tertullian’s question to an in situ study of one of the perennial topics addressed by classical and Christian thinkers and artists in the medieval/Renaissance/early modern period of European history.
The 2018 winter seminar will be led by the founder of the Jerusalem and Athens Forum, History professor Dr. Tal Howard, now the holder of the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics at Valparaison University. Dr. Howard will take up questions such as these: What is a good life? What is a good society? What is virtue and how does one acquire it? What is vice and how can one avoid it? What is the relationship between the pursuit of virtue and the pursuit of salvation? What is the relationship between individual virtue and public/social responsibility? We shall also ask to what extent medieval and early-modern moral philosophy might still be relevant to church, society, and government today. Excursions to Florence, Siena, Rome, and Arezzo focus on art and cultural settings of particular relevance to the theme.
Complete information about JAF291, and access to the on-line application form, is found on the Seminar's website, here.
Francis and Dominic: The Arts of Devotion
January 26–February 5, 2018
Rev. Dr. Susan and Dr. John Skillen combine their interests in offering a pilgrimage-retreat that follows in the steps of Saints Francis and Dominic. At the beginning of the 13th century, these two young men, one in Spain and one in Italy, were simultaneously drawn towards a new form of spiritual life as mendicants rather than monastics. While living in the traditional manner in small communities obedient to a shared rule of life, they cultivated a socially-engaged outward focus towards serving the needs of those in the world around them. The rapid spread of their offshoot communities brought spiritual renewal to church and society.
Orvieto has strong associations with the two theologians—one Dominican, one Franciscan—who remain towering figures in the history of the church. St. Thomas Aquinas, the greatest of the scholastic theologians and philosophers, lived and taught for a number of years in the Dominican monastery in Orvieto. St. Bonaventure, born in nearby Cività da Bagnoregio, gave lasting shape to Franciscan ideals through a theology of creation and of prayer.
Theme of the Retreat
Our particular focus will be on why and how the arts of painting, music, and poetry found a welcome place in the preaching, teaching, and devotional practices of the Franciscan and Dominican movements.
The Dominicans used the arts to give visual form to ideas and to cultivate intellectually rigorous forms of meditation. The Franciscans appreciated the power of the arts to arouse emotion and to strengthen the affective side of knowing and loving God and our neighbors.