Faces and Places of Christ: An Introduction

My co-author Ed Blum’s introduction to 8-part blog series “Faces and Places of Christ,” to feature posts by artists, scholars, and writers, starting today and through next Sunday. This is in part a tribute to those who influenced us in writing The Color of Christ. A little excerpt:

 So with Easter season upon us and the importance of “looks” all around us, I decided to contact some of the scholars and artists who influenced the making of our book. These are people who have grappled with the image of Christ in their own lives and works, and who taught Paul and me so much. The guiding questions to them were: “how do visual images of Jesus and where they are placed address religious, social, political, and theological questions? What is your first memory of encountering Jesus in visual form and how do you make meaning of that event now? What does the process of Jesus image making mean in the contemporary world and how does it continue to impact people?”

Each day from tomorrow to Easter, we will feature a different scholar or artist. David Morgan will reflect on his long relationship with the art of Warner Sallman, while Anthony Pinn will call for us to stop looking at Christ and start looking at ourselves. Janet McKenzie will discuss why she painted her now-famous Jesus of the People (1999), while Chad Hawkins will relate how his drawings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints temples tries to reflect the timelessness of Christ that calls out to him for humility. We will sit with Arlene M. Sánchez-Walsh as she visits her great-grandmother’s home and sees her Jesús, and we’ll fly back in time to Gary Vikan’s days as a boy scout from Minnesota and the variety of Jesus figures he encountered.

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