You are entering the secure New College Portal, where:

  • Prospective residents can apply for membership of New College and NCV.
  • Current residents can renew their membership.
Continue to the Secure New College Portal
You are here:  

Home » 

Media & Events » 

New College Lectures » 

Previous Lectures » 

2015 - Taking Flesh: Christology, Embodiment And T...


2015 - Taking Flesh: Christology, Embodiment and the Arts

Given by Professor Trevor Hart

The most basic of Christian claims about the world is that its Creator has himself taken flesh and dwelt among us. These lectures traced resonances between this claim and the realities of our shared human condition as manifest in the arts.

Lecture 1 - ‘Clayey lodging’: being human and why matter matters | Download Audio

The opening lecture considered the peculiar ‘predicament’ of being human; straddling the spheres of material and non-material creaturehood. Trevor Hart argued that the doctrines of incarnation, resurrection and ascension help us to understand that meanings associated with the arts furnishes a healthier picture of human knowing.

Lecture 2 - Earthy epiphanies: the incarnation of meaning and the meaning of incarnation in the arts | Download Audio

In some modern theorizing and criticism surrounding the arts, there are tendencies to grant the meanings and experiences they generate an exalted status. Yet, no matter how sublime or transcendent their semantic freight, all works of art trade in earthy and fleshy realities even as they grant epiphanies transcending materiality. These concepts were considered in relation to painting, music and theatre.

Lecture 3 - Heavenly bodies: why Wagner was right about art and wrong about God | Download Audio

Richard Wagner had a radical vision for the arts that was theologically informed and inspired. Although his beliefs were unorthodox, his quest for a ‘total work of art’ grapples more seriously with the nature and implications of our embodied condition than most contemporary Christian worship, which remains predominantly verbal, individualistic and cognitivist. Might the true ‘hallowing’ of things by God’s creatures necessarily involve a multi-sensory and imaginative ‘total’ engagement?


You can read a summary of the lectures here.

An interview with Professor Trevor Hart  by the Centre for Public Christianity is also available to view.

Faith in Art from CPX on Vimeo.

The Rev Dr Trevor Hart

Trevor Hart is the Rector of St Andrew's Episcopal Church and an Honorary Professor in the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He has had a distinguished career (B.A. Durham; Ph.D. Aberdeen), Professor of Divinity and formerly Dean of the Faculty of Divinity, St Andrews. Together with Jeremy Begbie, Hart founded the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts, serving as its first Director from 2000-2013. He delivered the 2008 New College Lectures: God & the Artist.

Trevor teaches and publishes in Christian doctrine and systematic theology. His academic interests include the contemporary reformulation of the Christian tradition and the engagement of Christian theology with other disciplines. One of his major research interests has been the nature and roles of human imagining. He is completing a book which explores the claim that imagination may be a primary focus of God’s redemptive action.

Trevor’s main role is now pastoring his Church. He remains an Honorary Professor in the University of St Andrews and continues in scholarship, lecturing and publishing as time permits.

Trevor is married to Rachel, and they have two adult children (Jonathan and Naomi), one teenager (Deborah) and a Border Terrier (Grizzle).

Publications coming soon...