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Transpositions: 2014, a Mid-Year Review

2014-05-18 11.14.56

Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh

Summer is a busy time, and so, as is our custom, we’ll be taking a break from our regular posting schedule (in the hopes of getting outside to catch a glimpse of the fleeting Scottish sun!).

Looking back, we’ve had a great year already. It began with “Transpositions: 2014,” a post in which I talked about what to expect in 2014. I talked about new Visiting Scholar and Artists in Residence series, as well as our desire to hear more from the ITIA community.

Now six months in, I’m happy to report that we’ve heard from a number of Visiting Scholars including Tanner CappsJon GathjeBo Helmich, and Holly Ordway, as well as several Artists in Residence including Alfonse Borysewicz, Makoto Fujimura, and Bruce Herman.

We plan to continue these series into the second half of 2014, and encourage folks from Duke Divinity School’s Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts (DITA), Fuller Theological Seminary’s Brehm Center, Houston Baptist University’s MA Apologetics program, Graduate Theological Union’s Center for the Arts, Religion, and Education (CARE), Yale Divinity School’s Institute of Sacred Music (ISM), or similar programs to submit posts. We’ll also be asking a broader range of artists to contribute to the Artists in Residence series.

Other highlights included a serendipitous symposium on Austin Farrer (with contributions from Michael WardRobert MacSwainAnn Loades, and Tim Allen), an excellent post from Cole Matson on the Reduta Theatre, and book reviews aplenty.

Our desire, in all of this, is to continue to serve as a hub for the theology/arts conversation, an online complement to the conversation taking place here in St Andrews. And with a new wave of students about to join us in September, we’re looking forward to several new Regular Contributors, Caitlin Washburn among them. Jon Greenaway, a PhD Candidate from Manchester Metropolitan University, will also be coming on board.

All this being said, several from our team are moving on, and so I want to take this opportunity to thank Cole Matson for his loving care and attention to guest contributions. Cole has a pastor’s heart, and his service in this role will be sorely missed. Jim Watkins, our last charter member and one-time Assistant Editor, will be moving on as well. Jim has a keen mind, and his posts offered valuable insight. Thankfully, we’ll still benefit (I hope) from his insightful comments which often lead to conversation more beneficial than the post itself. And finally, Preston Yancey – film critic and baker extraordinaire – will be focusing on his writing elsewhere. His memoir, Tables in the Wilderness, is due out this September with Zondervan, and he’s already working on a second book. Many thanks for your contributions.

In other news, Book Reviews Editor Denny Kinlaw got hitched, and I’ve been working on an essay for a forthcoming book on Desmond and Theology (University of Notre Dame Press, 2015), one that considers Desmond’s donation to a natural theology of the arts. Never a dull moment. We hope you enjoy your summer, and we look forward to continuing the conversation in September.

Christopher R. Brewer

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