Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Emmanuel I: Bethlehem, Alfonse Borysewicz                         oil and wax on linen, 69 x 69 in., 2005

Emmanuel I: Bethlehem, Alfonse Borysewicz oil and wax on linen, 69 x 69 in., 2005

Before coming to St Andrews I was an avid reader of Transpositions. I was at that time working as a marketing manager for a large corporation, and while that provided a creative outlet of sorts, I was nevertheless desperate for dialogue partners. St Andrews seemed the place to be, but I was so very far away.

I had been mounting exhibitions and curating a growing collection at Calvary Baptist Church (Grand Rapids, MI) the result of which was a book. Art that Tells the Story was intended for that church, but quickly took on a life of its own.

I sent a copy to Wes Vander Lugt, then Editor-in-Chief, and he responded with a generous review. I then suggested that I might interview my friend Alfonse Borysewicz who had contributed the book’s Afterword. “All is Grace: An Interview with Alfonse Borysewicz, Part 1″ was published the day after Vander Lugt’s review. This initial contribution was followed by a 3-part series on Art Prize. Still in Grand Rapids, I had found my tribe. I applied to the PhD program, left my corporate job, and moved together with my wife and two boys to the edge of the world, the center of the conversation.

By the time I arrived, editorial responsibilities had passed from Wes to Sara Schumacher. She asked if I might like to join the team as a regular contributor, and shortly thereafter, as Book Reviews Editor. My introduction to the blog – my book’s review – had become my editorial responsibility. That far off conversation had now come near.

Since that time, I’ve taken on additional editorial responsibilities, and not for a lack of things to do! My commitment to Transpositions has been fed by my predecessors who, when I was so very far away desperate for dialogue partners, welcomed me into a lively conversation taking place here in St Andrews. Transpositions, the online complement to the conversation happening here, had been my access, and as Editor-in-Chief, now Co-Editor, I have sought to extend that invitation to others, and this for mutual and collective benefit.

Now in my third year, on the cusp of submission, it’s time for yet another transition. Denny Kinlaw, my Co-Editor, is stepping in as Editor-in-Chief, and together with the rest of the team will continue what has for a long time been a fascinating and vital conversation located between university and church, theology and the arts. It’s been a privilege to serve in this role, and it seems fitting to end where I began: with the work of Alfonse Borysewicz.

Emmanuel I: Bethlehem is one of four Emmanuel paintings. Against the backdrop of the starlit night sky, a shepherd watches as the sun rises. Looking to his left, his gaze anticipates the other three paintings. The sun becomes the Son. The shepherd becomes the Good Shepherd of John 10. The announcement thus anticipates. Advent looks forward to Epiphany, and then on to Holy Week. Returning to the shepherd’s gaze, we might now make sense of what seems a rather sorrowful gaze. But then our gaze returns to the rising sun, and, like Borysewicz’s Easter Sunflower (2011), this rising sun is not only a beginning, but a beginning after the end. And so we move from team transitions to liturgical rhythms: beginnings, endings, and new beginnings; from announcement to anticipation.

Christopher R. Brewer 


As has been our custom, we will break for the Christmas season, resuming posts in the new year.



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