Graduate Theological Union
Art and Religion
James Ryan Parker,
Ministers of Movies: Sherwood Pictures and the Church Film Movement
Dancing Feet Find Holy Ground: Embodying the "Feminine" in the Dances of the World's Religions
The embodied journey of
Cecilia González-Andrieu (Ph.D. '07),
Assistant Professor of Theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University
Viji Nakka-Cammauf (Ph.D. '03),
Founder and President, Little Flock
PopTheology.com presents reviews of popular culture from a progressive Christian theological perspective. Maintained by Ryan Parker Ph.D. '10 and Richard Lindsay Ph.D. '11.
The M.A. in Art and Religion deals with the way in which art and religion inform each other, focusing on a variety of media, especially the visual arts, film, dance, drama, literature, and music in their contemporary as well as historic expressions. Students research projects can range from the history of art in any particular medium to Theological Aesthetics, and can include a variety of time periods, religious practices, theological inquiry, and church institutions, among other options. Each school may have a distinct emphasis.
In addition to GTU courses, students can do coursework in the arts at the University of California at Berkeley and Mills College, while enjoying access to the cultural resources of the San Francisco Bay Area.
The program in Art and Religion engages doctoral students in a dynamic scholarly learning community, focusing on critical reflection in the arts as a locus of religious meaning. Our graduates work in the areas of art and faith traditions, in academic, religious, and arts institutions.
Persons applying for the program are expected to have an MA, or the academic equivalent, in art history, or aesthetics, or theology.
Students must have proficiency in two languages for scholarly research other than English. Ordinarily one of these must be a modern language such as German, Spanish, French, or Italian.
In consultation with the academic advisor students pursue pre-dissertation coursework, research, and writing of papers with GTU and UC Berkeley faculty. Students should define and gain expertise in a field of specialization as a preliminary step toward the dissertation. One upper division (4000-6000 level) in history of the arts course and one upper division aesthetics course are required.
Supporting courses in religion and the arts are also available through the Center for Arts, Religion and Education and at UCB.
The student will write a research paper of 30 to 40 pages on a subject dealing with the major focus of his or her discipline, either a) the history of the arts; or b) aesthetics.
- The student will take a closed book examination of three (3) hours on questions given by the committee that deal with the student's major focus.
- The student will write another research paper of 30 to 40 pages dealing with the minor focus of his or her discipline, either a) the history of the arts; or b) aesthetics or an allied field approved by the Area.
- The student will do a critical paper on a specific art form or do a creative project designed to display the knowledge of an art form within the context of theology/faith traditions.
Allied Field Requirements
Core Doctoral Faculty
MICHAEL MORRIS, O.P. • DSPT (Religion and the Arts) • Christian iconography; hagiography; biography; modern religious art and architecture; cinema.
RONALD NAKASONE • GTU (Buddhist Art and Aesthetics) • Buddhist art and aesthetics; spirituality and aging; Ryukyuan (Okinawan) studies.
ANSELM RAMELOW, O.P. • DSPT (Theology, Philosophy) • Philosophy of religion; philosophical aesthetics; concept of the person; Thomas Aquinas; Kant and German idealism; philosophy of language.
ROSSITZA SCHROEDER • PSR (Art and Religion) • Early Christian and Byzantine art; Western Medieval art; Islamic art.
DEVIN ZUBER • PSR (American Studies, Literature and Swedenborgian Studies) • Religion and Literature; American Transcendentalism (Emerson, Thoreau); Romanticism; William Blake; Emanuel Swedenborg; Literary Theory and Poetics; Environmental Literature and Ecocriticism; Aesthetics and Visual Culture
Consortial Faculty Resources
KATHRYN BARUSH • GTU/JST (Art History & Religion) • Art and material culture of pilgrimage; sacred art in theory and practice; form and functionof Medieval illuminated manuscripts and their modern reception; art and religion of the British Isles.
HARRY CRONIN, C.S.C. • CARE/GTU (Theological Aesthetics) • Theological aesthetics; theater; film.
JANE DILLENBERGER • GTU Emerita (Art History) • The visual arts and Christianity, early Christian to the present, including the United States.
EDUARDO C. FERNÁNDEZ, S.J. • JST (Pastoral Theology and Ministry) • Relationship between faith and culture; U.S. Hispanic theology and ministry; Hispanic religious expressions; celebration of sacraments in multicultural contexts Mexican history and the history of the southwest; relationship between art, spirituality, and inculturation.
BRYAN KROMHOLZ, O.P. • DSPT (Theology) • Contemporary and medieval eschatology; sacraments; nature and grace and nouvelle theologie; theology of aesthetics.
CHRISTOPHER RENZ, O.P. • DSPT (Religion and the Arts) • Connaturality; creative intuition; poetry; science and spirituality of sustainable food production and consumption.
PETER SELZ • UCB Emeritus (Art History) • Contemporary American and European Art.