8 Great Books on Christianity, Culture, Creativity and the Arts

Christianity, culture, creativity and the arts — this has been an area of interest and study for me ever since my days as a student at Berklee College of Music. Here are some of the best books I have read on the subject over the years. Some of these are hard to find, so if you find a good price online, grab them while you can! Here they are, alphabetically by author.

1. The Making of a Christian Mind: A Christian World View & the Academic Enterprise, edited by Arthur Holmes

    There are other good books on Christian world view out there, but I have always liked this one. Holmes draws together five concise essays on Christian world view, history, science, psychology and the creative arts.

2. Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, by Madeleine L’Engle

    You may be familiar with Madeleine L’Engle through her Wrinkle in Time series. Walking on Water is a wide-ranging book exploring the implications of the incarnation for human creativity and the arts.

3. Consider the Lilies: A Plea for Creational Theology, by T. M. Moore

    Not sure what creational theology means? This book is a great place to start. Moore lays the biblical foundation for many of the ideas about creativity found in the other books on this page.

4. Art Needs No Justification, by H. R. Rookmaaker

    This one is my absolute favorite. Although Rookmaaker deals primarily with the visual arts, his observations are appropriate to all fields of creative work. And it’s only 60 pages long!

5. The Creative Gift: Essays on Art and the Christian Life, by H. R. Rookmaaker

    Another great book by Rookmaaker. This one is longer, and Rookmaaker is able to go into much greater detail.

6. The Christian Imagination: Essays on Literature and the Arts, compiled by Leland Ryken

    My sister, Bethany, gave this to me on my 22nd birthday. This is a wonderful collection of essays with contributions from C. S. Lewis, T. S. Eliot, Thomas Howard, Flannery O’Connor, Leland Ryken and others. (Note: Some of these essays, but not all of them, appear in Ryken’s more recent book: The Christian Imagination: The Practice of Faith in Literature and Writing)

7. Culture in Christian Perspective: A Door to Understanding & Enjoying the Arts, by Leland Ryken

    Part of the Multnomah Critical Concern series in the 1980’s, Ryken’s book examines literature, art and music in relation to the Christian faith.

8. Rainbows for the Fallen World: Aesthetic Life and Artistic Task, by Calvin Seerveld

    Seerveld wrote this book while a senior member at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. Seerveld’s unbridled enthusiasm for God, Scripture and the arts literally leaps off the pages of this book as Seerveld sets forth a biblical charter for artistic activity.

*Bonus: Here is one that I haven’t read yet, but it looks good. Art for God’s Sake: A Call to Recover the Arts, by Philip Graham Ryken.

So, how about you? Do you have any favorite books on Christianity, culture, creativity and the arts to add to the list?

Related post: God’s Good Creation Series

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  1. Believing the Bible Book List at Ray Fowler .org

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