God in the Modern Wing: Viewing Art with Eyes of Faith

Cameron J. Anderson (Editor) and G. Walter Hansen (Editor)

IVP Academic (2021), 216 pages

The idea behind this book and the ten lectures that preceded it at Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago was entirely Walter Hansen’s. Should Christians even bother with the modern wing at the art museum? After all, modern art and artists are often caricatured as rabidly opposed to God, the Church—indeed, to faith of any kind. But is that all there is to the story? In this volume, Walter and I gathered the reflections of artists, art historians, and theologians who collectively offer a more complicated narrative of the history of modern art and its place in the Christian life. At his invitation I contributed three chapters: the introduction entitled “Being Modern;” “Transcendence and Immanence: The Sculpture of Constantin Brancusi and Alberto Giacometti;” and an afterword, “Making Space.” An added pleasure of editing and publishing this book was that its contributors—Bruce Herman, Makoto Fujimura, Tim Lowly, David McNutt (our editor), Matthew Milliner, Steve Prince, Joel Sheesley, Leah Samuelson, and Linda Stratford—represent a rich weave of long standing friendships. Those willing to look with eyes of faith, may find that God is present in the modern wing.

Create: Transforming Stories of Art, Life & Faith

Joey O’Connor (Editor)

Independent Publisher (2020), 220 pages

“Outsider” is the chapter I contributed to this volume, conceived and edited by Joey O’Conner, Founder of the Grove Center for the Arts. It contains 21 essays that gather wisdom, insight and inspiration from visual artists, dancers, illustrators, graphic designers, filmmakers, musicians, writers, poets and Broadway actors from across the country. Each contributor shares the highs and lows, victories and failures, that they have encountered in pursuing creative careers. Visual artists featured in this collection include longtime friends Sandra Bowden, Wayne Forte, Bruce Herman, Ed Knippers, Barry Krammes, Cindi Zech Rhodes, and Denise Kufus Weyhrich.

Where Wisdom May Be Found: The Eternal Purpose of Christian Higher Education

Edward P. Meadors (Editor)

Pickwick Publications (2019), 348 pages

Alongside 26 other contributors, each accomplished voices from a broad array of academic and professional disciplines, Ed Meadors invited me to contribute a chapter to this book. My essay, entitled “The Wisdom of Art” is in large part a commentary on God’s instruction to Moses to erect an elaborate Tabernacle in the Sinai wilderness. I am pleased to say that an image of my painting Dunamis also graces the book’s cover. The primary objective of the book is to model the integration of faith and learning in cross-disciplinary terms, declaring the depth and richness of the wisdom and knowledge of God for the educational advancement and holistic equipping of the people of God.

Contemporary Art and the Church: A Conversation Between Two Worlds

W. David O. Taylor (Editor) and Taylor Worley (Editor)

IVP Academic (2017), 256 pages

During my tenure as the Executive Director of Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA), one of our most successful biennial conferences was held at Calvin College in 2015. W. David O. Taylor directed that event and afterward, Taylor Worley joined with him to edit this book, which like the 2015 conference, explores the uneasy and ongoing relationship between the church and contemporary art. They kindly invited me to contribute to the final chapter, “Saving the World.” This volume gathers essays and reflections by artists, theologians, and church leaders as they seek to explore misperceptions, create a hospitable space to learn from each other, and imagine the possibility of a renewed and mutually fruitful relationship.

The Faithful Artist: A Vision for Evangelicalism and the Arts

Cameron J. Anderson

IVP Academic (2016), 283 pages

Of my publications thus far, this volume is the most personal and comprehensive. Having written many drafts over many years, I sought to address a core tension in my life, one that had been ever-present since my teens: my deeply-held Christian faith seemed to be at odds with serious artmaking. In this book I trace the relationship between evangelicalism and modern art in postwar America and, I hope, with sensitivity and insight I consider such things as the role of our bodies and our senses in our experience of the arts, the relationship between text and image, the persistent dangers of idolatry, the possibility of pursuing God through an encounter with beauty, and more. Throughout, my principal concern was to understand how Christian artists can faithfully pursue their vocational calling in the context of contemporary culture.

Through Your Eyes: Dialogues on the Paintings of Bruce Herman

G. Walter Hansen and Bruce Herman

Eerdmans (2013), 112 pages

This beautiful book is written as a conversation between two friends—biblical scholar G. Walter Hansen and contemporary artist Bruce Herman—as they reflect on and interpret artwork Bruce created over thirty years. While working on the project, Walter and Bruce invited me to write the introduction. In it I describe an almost mystical encounter I had with a Herman painting. In a series of brief meditations and essays accompanied by full-color reproductions of art, the authors explore major themes relevant to Herman’s pilgrimage in the often-confusing current art culture. Their dialogue reveals many insights into Herman’s art, enabling laypersons to come to a richer appreciation of contemporary art in general.

Faith and Vision: Twenty-Five Years of Christians in the Visual Arts

Cameron J. Anderson (Editor) and Sandra Bowden (Editor)

Square Halo Press (2005), 199 pages

This book was produced and published near to the end of my ten-year term on CIVA’s Board of Directors. It was my first opportunity to coedit a book, in this instance with artist and visionary arts leader Sandra Bowden. It was also my first experience to work collaboratively with a gifted graphic designer, notably Ned Bustard. The book celebrates 25 years of Christians in the Visual Arts—featuring more than 200 images that showcase the work of CIVA’s most accomplished artists and highlighting the quality and breadth of its traveling exhibitions, conferences, directories, and publications. Since  CIVA closed its doors 2023, this record of the organization’s early years shines ever more brightly.