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“We See These Things:” Drawing with Dale Leys

My drawing teacher, Dale Leys, has recently been the subject of a forty-year, three-gallery retrospective exhibit. And while I couldn’t go to Kentucky to see the shows, I was thrilled to see that Kentucky’s public television channel, KET, aired a 30-minute documentary about his work

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The Life of Jesus in Paintings at the Getty

The Getty Center in Los Angeles is not really the best place to go if you want to see Christian art. Except for the remarkable collection of illuminated manuscripts, the Getty’s collection just isn’t built around the themes and images of the Christian visual tradition

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Dante, Illustrated by Boccaccio

I did not know this existed until today. I knew that Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–75), author of the Decameron, admired Dante Alighieri (1265–1321). I knew Boccaccio had written a short Life of Dante, and I even knew that Boccaccio had studied Dante’s work intensely and lectured on

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What You Can Learn from Calvin and Hobbes about the Message and the Medium

Anybody who has a message that they care about communicating should pay attention to the great lesson taught by Calvin and Hobbes: The lesson is that not every message can be communicated in every medium. Yes, I mean Bill Watterson’s comic strip about the tiger

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Hours of the Compassion of God

A set of images from the Book of Hours of Catherine of Cleves, a Dutch Gothic illuminated manuscript from about 1440 (see below for more information on the source). In a series of nine pages, the artist gives us the legend of the cross, which

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Biola’s Jesus Mural: How “The Word” Dwells Among Us

One of the first things you’ll notice if you visit Biola University’s campus is our Jesus Mural, “The Word.” It’s iconic for us, our evangelical counterpart to Notre Dame’s “Touchdown Jesus.” It’s huge–27 feet tall–and all the more significant as it stands in the middle

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God Went Bowling

There’s a little song called God Went Bowling by a band called the Swirling Eddies. It was on their 1994 album Zoom Daddy, and it features an oompah beat driven by accordion. Over it all is the snide vocal of Terry Scott Taylor, the songwriter

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Dig Here Said the Angel

“I sell records worldwide now that I’ve died,” boasts the singer in one of the tracks on the new Daniel Amos album, Dig Here Said the Angel.  The character is a musician, obviously, but postmortem, and somehow (As a ghost? In a dream?) he’s assuring

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Spiders, Comics, and Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) is widely recognized as the greatest theologian America has yet produced. He wrote epochal books and preached sermons that still echo in our cultural memory from the Great Awakening. One of the least important things he ever wrote is a fun bit

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St. Patrick Comics & Stories!

The cartoon adventures of St. Patrick, from a 1947 comic book called Treasure Chest of Fun & Fact. This four-page adventure by George F. Foley tells the saint’s story in a way designed to hold the interest of a young Roman Catholic audience in the

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Pictographic Catechism from the Andes

It’s not exactly a comic book, but there is an old catechism that certainly makes an interesting use of sequential images for the purposes of teaching Christian doctrine. The Huntington Free Library in the Bronx published a facsimile edition of a “pictographic Quechua catechism” that is

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A Statue You Can't See. Also, Upside Down.

What good is a statue nobody can see? In a courtyard in Cambridge, England (just beside the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences) is a pair of iron footprints. Over the last few summers, I’ve seen these footprints dozens of times. I’ve wondered what they were