Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Christians and Kitsch

A few months ago I used the phrase "kitschianity" to describe the evangelical propensity toward creating sentimental works of poor quality (for lack of a better word) art intended to convey some aspect of the Christian message. These articles line the shelves of what used to be Christian bookstores. So, while paging through the current issue of Books & Culture this morning, I took special note of an ad for a new book from a UK-based publishing company called Piquant Editions that specializes in the relationship between Christian mission and the arts. The book is called A Profound Weakness: Christians and Kitsch by Betty Spackman. Here's Piquant's description:
In this image journal and textbook, the contemporary artist Betty Spackman takes us on a guided tour of her collection of the images and objects that represent the Christian faith in popular culture. Having set out to critique these poor relations of ecclesiastical art, she finds herself torn between being deeply moved and outraged by their sentimental appeal. Her gentle deconstructions and playful permutations elicit new life from them to illustrate her observations, and to surprise and at times unsettle the reader. A closing questionnaire prompts further reflection. This is a book that can help us greatly to make sense of the pictures that unwittingly may have shaped our faith or unfaith. It is highly recommended for artists, teachers, preachers, youth leaders, parents and spiritual counsellors.
An information page (PDF) including the table of contents and a brief author's bio is available here.

Oh, by the way, Happy New Year!

1 comment:

David Koyzis said...

Betty was a colleague of mine at Redeemer until a few years ago. I'm pleased to see that she has published this book.