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Transforming Culture: Artworks in the Context of Public Assemblies

April 2, 2008

Plenary #3 – John Witvliet, Artworks in the Context of Public Assemblies

John Witvliet of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship noted for meanings of “worship”: 1) all of life 2) public assemblies and 3) personal acts of explicit adoration, in or outside of the church. Focusing on 2) worship in public assemblies, Witvliet set the stage through a 2 minute slide show of culturally diverse forms of worship. His delivery was rather banal, so here are just a few insights:

  • He notes that all artwork is constrained by its surroundings, not just liturgical worship, worship in the church. His aim is to do away with the idea that art within the church space must be “watered down.”
  • Architectural space and arrangement can enhance or impede community worship. More thought and attention needs to be given to worship space.
  • Liturgical worship is about the “we” not just the “I.”
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