Introducing What Good are the Arts? week

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.

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  • 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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