Search:


The Reformation & the Arts

Printer Friendly Version Email Link to a Friend
Image for Article

A major controversy during the time of the Reformation involved the proper use of the arts. Despite the artistic glories of the medieval church, the Reformers believed that art was being misused, that it was obscuring the Gospel behind a haze of aesthetic experience. In some ways, the medieval approach to the arts, as condemned by the Reformers, is coming back among contemporary evangelicals.


If you have a current subscription or current on-line account please log-in here to read the rest of this article.



1 [ Back ] Some of the material in this article is adapted from my book State of the Arts: From Bezalel to Mapplethorpe (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1991).
2 [ Back ] See Kenneth Myers, All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes: Christians and Popular Culture (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1989).
3 [ Back ] John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, ed. John T. McNeill (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1960), Book 1, Chapter 11, Section 12.
4 [ Back ] Quoted in Charles Garside, Zwingli and the Arts (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1966), p. 171.
5 [ Back ] Quoted in Garside, p. 182.
6 [ Back ] Luther's Works, ed. Helmut T. Lehmann (Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1959), 51:84-85.
7 [ Back ] Ibid., 49:428.
8 [ Back ] Werner Jaeger, Paideia: The Ideals of Greek Culture, trans. Gilbert Highet (New York: Oxford University Press, 1965), pp. xxvii-xxviii.


Gene E. Veith is academic dean at Patrick Henry College (Purcellville, Virginia) and cultural editor for World Magazine.

Issue: "The Word Became Flesh" Nov./Dec. 1994 Vol. 3 No. 6 Page number(s): 21-24

    You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you do not make more than 500 physical copies. We do not allow reposting an article in its entirety on the Internet.  We request that you link to this article from your website.  Any exceptions to the above must be explicitly approved by Modern Reformation (webmaster@modernreformation.org).

    Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: This article originally appeared in the [insert current issue date] edition of Modern Reformation and is reprinted with permission. For more information about Modern Reformation, visit www.modernreformation.org or call (800) 890-7556. All rights reserved.



donate | contact us | customer service | terms of use | privacy policy | submissions
Copyright © 2014 White Horse Inn