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Symposium on "The Future of Christian Art"

Oct 20 5–6:30pm
Social Sciences, Room 122
1126 E 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Stephen Fields, SJGeorgetown University

Karin KrauseUniversity of Chicago

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Is there a future for Christian Art? Can beauty save a “modern” world? This symposium features a presentation by Fr. Stephen Fields, SJ (Georgetown) in which he distinguishes between modernity and previous periods of the Western Christian experience and draws upon the work of Hans Urs von Balathasar to argue that Christians must reconceive the meaning of “beauty.” A response will follow from Chicago Artist John David Mooney. 

This event is being supported by funds from the The Fr. Paul V. Mankowski, S.J. Memorial Fund for Jesuit Scholarship. Fr. Paul, former Jesuit Scholar in Residence for the Lumen Christi Institute and trained biblicist, was also a humanist with wide ranging interests in art and literature. You can learn more about the fund and Fr. Paul's life and legacy here.

Stephen Fields, S.J. is the Hackett Family Professor in Theology in Georgetown University, where he has taught since 1993. He holds the PhD from Yale in the philosophy of religion and the STL in fundamental theology from the Weston School of Theology (now the School of Theology and Ministry, Boston College). He has written Being as Symbol: On the Origins and Development of Karl Rahner’s Metaphysics (2001), and Analogies of Transcendence: An Essay on Nature, Grace and Modernity (2016), and edited a collection of essays on the thought of Benedict XVI for a special Festschrift edition of Nova et Vetera (English edition) (2017). His articles appear in a range of international journals, both philosophical and theological. His undergraduate students elected him as the twelfth recipient of the Dorothy M. Brown Award for excellence in teaching. He now directs the Lumen Christi Institute’s annual summer seminar for graduate students on John Henry Newman.


Karin Krause is Assistant Professor of Byzantine Theology and Visual Culture at the University of Chicago Divinity School. She is an art historian who specializes in the Christian visual culture of Byzantium and the pre-modern Mediterranean. Her first book, The Illustrated Homilies of John Chrysostom in Byzantium, published in German, won an award from the Southeast Europe Association (Südosteuropa-Gesellschaft). Krause is currently completing a second book with the working title Images of Inspiration: Art, Authenticity, and the Sacred in Byzantium. Krause’s third monograph, tentatively titled Propaganda, Cult, Scholarship: The Response to Byzantine Artifacts in Venice is far advanced, and builds on her previous publications on the impact of Byzantine culture on medieval and early modern Italy.