Introducing Commercial Arts Fortnight

Over the next two weeks, Transpositions will be devoting its posts to the Commercial Arts, raising questions and exploring theological issues embedded within the fields of graphic design, music, architecture, film, acting, script-writing, and branding. Together with several guest contributors, this next fortnight will consider a field of the arts that impacts and informs much of our day-to-day life. Contributors range from practitioners to scholars, each with their unique perspective on how the commercial arts and theology come together. The schedule for the next two weeks is as follows:

Tuesday, 7 June: Graphic designer Paul Nielson considers the extent to which a church should invest in good design and reasons for doing so.

Wednesday, 8 June: Architect Matt Pearson discusses why he believes architecture has a role to play in revealing who God is.

Thursday, 9 June: Scholar Nate Risdon suggests a way that popular culture, specifically its music, impacts the way in which we read the Biblical narrative.

Friday, 10 June: Comedy script-writer James Cary writes about the tension Christians face working in an industry where they have little editorial control.

Monday, 13 June: Film director Ron Newcomb explores whether films are modern-day parables and critiques their use as evangelistic tools.

Tuesday, 14 June: Actor Lukas Behnken shares his experience of working in the industry, specifically how he discerns what parts to audition for and accept.

Wednesday, 15 June: Musician Jez Carr considers what is required to pastor artists through the experience of failure.

Thursday, 16 June: Scholar Christopher Min┬ádiscusses the work of artist Barbara Kruger, advertising, and Jacques Lacan’s concept of the social unconscious.

Friday, 17 June: Branding expert turned Anglican priest Alan Ramsey tackles the question of whether or not a church should brand itself to the community.

We look forward to the issues these posts will raise and the discussion that will ensue.


  • Sara Schumacher is the editor and a regular contributor to Transpositions. Prior to life in academia, Sara worked as a graphic designer in Oxford where her experience as an artist and a Christian raised many questions, ultimately leading her to pursue further study in theology and the arts at St Andrews. Sara holds a B.S. in Graphic Design and an A.A. in Cross-Cultural Services from John Brown University and has recently completed an M.Litt in Theology, Imagination, and the Arts at St Andrews. She is currently working on a PhD at St Andrews, focusing on church patronage of the arts.

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