Adelaide Chapter

The church and the destruction of art by Matt Gray

November 23, 2017

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Date(s) - 23/11/2017
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Classroom 3, Ground floor, Tabor College (carpark entry from Mitchell Street)


Art is an expression of our thoughts, emotions, intuitions, and the way we experience the world. It is one of the high points of being human. Art blossomed in western culture. Was the church a help or has the church been an artistic vandal, destroying all culture that offends its prejudices?

Last Supper

Christian art is nearly as old as Christianity itself. There are Christian artworks in the catacombs dating from the 2nd century. After the legalisation of Christianity by Constantine in 313, there was a huge rise in the use and quality of icons and images within churches. This caused concern amongst some Christians who viewed it as a form of idolatry. In general, the church has been a major supporter of art and sculpture, but not always. In the 16th century, some of the reformers encouraged the removal of Church art. These works were generally transferred to art galleries, but in some cases, works of art were destroyed in iconoclastic riots.

Matthew Gray will provide an overview of the relationship between the church and art.


Matt Gray

Matthew James Gray is a Church history and theology lecturer at Tabor College and also writes in Wondering Fair, which is an online apologetics magazine.

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