Artistry and the Arc of the Atonement

A Symposium (Postponed)

This symposium will be rescheduled when it is feasible to do so; please check back regularly for updates.

In both the art and theology worlds the atonement of Christ tends to focus on a particular moment: the crucifixion and death of Christ. Theories and models of the atonement centre on questions about what actually happened on the cross – how Christ’s death effected salvation and reconciliation with God the Father. Similarly, the Passion in art – and especially in traditional musical settings – is heavily weighted toward depicting and representing the crucified Christ.

Thus, this one-day symposium seeks to develop a new model that incorporates, for example, the Incarnation, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ alongside the Crucifixion as an ‘arc’ of atonement, showing how the Crucifixion cannot be understood irrelative to the rest. Centring on the Easter season specifically as a unifying theme, this symposium invites researchers, theologians, and artists in interdisciplinary reflection on this model both theologically and artistically. Given that the predominance of work in this area tends to focus on the visual arts, this symposium will favour engagement with performing arts (e.g. music, theatre, poetry) working with themes within the ‘arc’ of the atonement, and specifically, with themes of resurrection, regeneration, and rebirth.

This event thus will build on past TheoArtistry projects and momentum within both the School of Divinity and the University of St Andrews Music Centre in connecting arts and theological research with a range of creative opportunities.

Keynote & Concert

Our keynote speaker is Dr Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin. Drawing on philosophers Merleau-Ponty and Susanne Langer, Dr Dengerink Chaplin will explore how music and the performing arts can move beyond being merely illustrative of particular theological doctrines, and capture lived human experience including lived religious experience, that is, the way we experience God and religion pre-analytically and affectively.

The day will culminate in a choral and orchestral concert traversing the ‘arc’ of the atonement. Concert tickets are included in the cost of registration.


An updated Call for Proposals will be reissued in due course.

Questions should be sent to

Follow @easterartistry on Twitter for updates and further information.

The symposium will be held at St Mary’s College, University of St Andrews.