God and nature in art

These days, questions about the environment and climate pop up frequently in the media and daily conversations. What is or should be a Christian response to these questions? This course explores how various artists have depicted the relationship between Creator and creation in the Christian tradition. In the Middle Ages, landscapes were often painted in the background, as decorations or backdrops for biblical or post-biblical stories. In the early modern period, however, landscapes came to the fore as a subject in their own right. In some Christian traditions, this shift went hand-in-hand with the view of nature as the second book of God’s revelation, a mirror in which to see God. We find this understanding of creation in works by Dutch artists such as Jacob van Ruisdael and Salomon van Ruysdael. Works by Romantic artists such as John Martin try to capture something of the awesome power of nature. Landscapes by another Romantic artist, the German Caspar David Friedrich, are full of Christian symbolism, but in some sense point to a Christian life outside the church. In the twentieth century, Stanley Spencer aimed to depict God’s providential concern for his creation.


Tutor: Dr Chris Joby
Date: Saturday 25 July 2020, 10am-12.30pm, in Norwich Cathedral Library
Cost: £10

Certificate in Christian Studies: Core requirement in subject area 5, Spirituality and Daily Living

To book please contact the NCCL Administration Team, NCCL@cathedral.org.uk, 01603 218443. PLEASE NOTE Cheques should be made payable to NORWICH CATHEDRAL

Whilst we strive to accommodate everyone this is not always physically possible, so we reserve the right to turn away those who have not booked in advance. If we are able to accommodate those who have not booked in advance, we reserve the right to make an additional charge, over the basic course fee.