Call for Proposals

Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture
October 26-28, 2022

The notion of art seeking understanding (ars quaerens intellectum) invites association with the notion of faith seeking understanding (fides quaerens intellectum). 

Just as faith is a gift of grace that grows toward deeper knowledge, so it seems that art is a gift whose practice leads to a deeper order of understanding.  This seems true not only for the person who experiences art, but also the artist—whether musician, painter, sculptor, or poet.

The 2022 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture invites contributions from across the disciplines (including scholars, artists, and other practitioners) as we explore together how art seeks understanding and thus contributes to human flourishing.

Possible Questions Paper Proposals Might Address:

  • Can art contribute to moral and spiritual perception? Sensitivity? Character formation?
  • How does the power of imagination, as a faculty of the human mind, ground religious sensitivities, spiritual practices, and traits of the Christian person?
  • What is the role of literary art in developing the imagination? Of visual art? Do they differ in effect? How?
  • Why is much of biblical teaching in poetic or fictional form? What does this suggest about the relation of poetic art to the communication of moral truth?
  • Art therapy is a recognized practice in psychotherapy. How might it play a constructive role in pastoral counseling?
  • Liturgical churches continue to make use of visual art in connection with holy space and worship. Since the Reformation, evangelical churches have focused more on music. Are there reasons to think that focus on one medium or the other limits theological or biblical understanding?
  • What does the musical setting of a biblical or Christian text add to our potential understanding or spiritual appropriation of the text? Can a theological account of that “added value” be given?
  • How is visual Christian art related to Exodus 20:4?
  • How do different modes of art contribute to the development of faith? 
  • How might the study of art be helpfully appropriated in non-humanities disciplines (business, medicine, science, etc.)?  

Proposals for individual papers and panel discussions are welcome. Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted by July 15. Call 254-710-4805 or email for more information.