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In the Beauty of Holiness

Art and the Bible in Western Culture

by David Lyle Jeffrey

Hardcover: $49.00

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ISBN: 9780802874702

Page Count: 448

Publication Date: 10/24/2017

Trim Size: 8 x 10

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From the walls of the Roman catacombs to the paintings of Marc Chagall, visual art in the West has consistently drawn its most profound and generative inspiration from biblical narrative and imagery. Jeffrey guides readers through this artistic tradition from the second century to the twenty-first, astutely pointing out its relationship not only to the biblical sources but also to related expressions in liturgy and historical theology.

Lavishly illustrated throughout with 146 masterworks, reproduced in full color, In the Beauty of Holiness is ideally suited to students of Christian fine art, to devotees of biblical studies, and to general readers wanting to better understand the story of Christian art through the centuries.

> Reviews - /

Michelle P. Brown, FSA
— University of London
“A beautiful book in every sense, this is not a narrative or stylistic history of art. Rather, it seeks to illuminate a cultural, theological, and spiritual trajectory for Christian art in the West over the last two millennia. Writing with the heart of a Celtic poet and the clarity of a classical pedagogue, David Lyle Jeffrey explores the paradox, celebrated and lamented in literature and the arts across the ages, that while mortal beauty arouses an infinite longing, it is itself finite.”
William Dyrness
— Fuller Theological Seminary
“David Jeffrey here provides a visual theology of the beauty of holiness through a richly illustrated selection of Christian art stretching over the whole of Christian history. Whether that story is unknown or familiar to readers, all will come away instructed and inspired by this cornucopia of imagery.”
Robin Jensen
— University of Notre Dame
“Jeffrey’s richly illustrated and truly learned study of the complex relationship between visual art and Christian theology and practice begins with an examination of the place of beauty in striving for holiness and ends with examples of artistic rebellion against traditional faith and—finally—the return of the transcendentals. An indispensable contribution to the conversation among artists and theologians.”
Bruce Cole
— former chair of National Endowment for the Humanities
“This book will appeal to, and enlighten, a wide range of readers, including those interested in theology, art and architecture, philosophy, the liturgy, and many other subjects. Gracefully written, learned but accessible, and deeply cogitated, it is an original and important contribution to our understanding of the Bible and art in Western culture.”
Christianity and Literature
"This book provides a rich foundation for scholars interested in the long-running, interdisciplinary dialogue about how art can help us obey the psalmist's injunction to 'worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness."
“This is a powerful and intriguing way of narrating the history of Western Christian art.”
Society for Old Testament Study Book List
“As J. himself admits, this is more a series of vignettes than a comprehensive history, but if taken as such it offers some intriguing glimpses—beautifully aided by the lush coloured illustrations—into how art, the sacred, and prevailing cultural forces have interacted in Western contexts.”

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