Starting tomorrow, Transpositions will devote the next seven days to engaging thoughtfully with John Carey’s book What Good are the Arts? (2005). Carey, former professor of English Literature at Oxford University, challenges many of the ‘preconceptions about the good of the arts’ in a way that is both polemical and insightful, leading reviewers to describe the book as ‘informative, thought-provoking and entertaining’, ‘idiotic’ and ‘savagely amusing’.
At the outset, Carey explicitly states that he is writing from a ‘secular viewpoint’ with the intentional exclusion of ‘considerations of religious faith – not out of disrespect for religion, but because the assumption of a religious faith would alter the terms of the discussion fundamentally and unpredictably.’ (3) It is for this reason that we at Transpositions, a blog that is exploring the intersection between art and Christian theology, want to engage with Carey’s work, the issues he raises, and consider how his work can be transposed with our own views.
We look forward to your comments and thoughts.