Literature, Art and the Christian Imagination

  • Date & Time: Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013, 10:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Six-part series exploring the key facets of art, literature, imagination and culture in terms of their spiritual dimension.

A number of popular lecturers will be returning, alongside new faces. One of the days extends last year’s topics in new directions, the rest introduce entirely new areas.

The intention is to give returning students a feel of continuity and development, exploring how key issues mesh with fresh ideas and topics. However, there is no need to have attended the course in previous years, as the course is self-contained, requiring no previous knowledge

As stated, the content of this course is completely fresh so it is suitable for both newcomers and returners. Each tutor will consider particular works of art and literature in relation to Christian spirituality. The course will address the following thematic strands:

  • the role of imagination in spiritual experience
  • the place of the arts in the life of the Christian community
  • the changing relation between art, literature and Christian spirituality through different historical periods
  • the creative imagination and the human quest for transcendence
  • the spiritual vision of particular artists and writers

Course Timetable


30 January: Imaginations of the Heart: Art and God
Barnabas Palfrey

*13 February: Further Explorations in Quakers and the Art and Craft Movement
Ben Pink Dandelion and Roger Homan

13 March: Body, Mind and Spirit in the Poetry of U.A. Fanthorpe and the Sculpture of Ron Mueck
Margaret Gill and Anne Long

17 April Art: Religion and the Human Condition
Graham Howes and Charles Pickstone

15 May: Culture and Art: The Italian Renaissance
Ellie Pridgeon

12 June: An Exploration of How God, even in His Absence, Haunts the Contemporary Novel – with Particular Reference to Julian Barnes
Vernon White

*13 February: at the end of the day, following an abbreviated concluding session after tea, we are offering a voluntary visit to the new Salisbury Quaker meeting house (near the station): there we can evaluate the implementation of the moral and aesthetic principles we will have been exploring.


Price:  £310 for the series, including lunch and refreshments on all six days

Contact Alison Ogden for booking enquiries.
aogden@sarum.ac.uk | 01722 424826

Course Details:

  • Date & Time: Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013, 10:30 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Tutors:
  • Tutor: Barnabas Palfrey

    • Barnabas Palfrey completed a doctorate on the thought of David Tracy. He has a wide range of theological and spirituality interests, particular as they relate to philosophy.

  • Tutor: Vernon White

    • The Revd Canon Vernon White is Canon Theologian at Westminster Abbey, and was formerly Principal of the Southern Theological Education and Training School (STETS). He writes on providence and identity.

  • Tutor: Ellie Pridgeon

    • Ellie Pridgeon teaches in the Arts and Humanities at Leicester University and is a professional archivist. She assists Dr Miriam Gill on the Churches Conservation Trust Wall Paintings Project and has researched St Christopher wall paintings in England and Wales (c 1250-1525).

  • Tutor: Charles Prickstone

    • The Revd Charles Pickstone is an Anglican priest living in South London. Educated in Oxford, Paris and Leeds, he lectures and writes widely on Art and Spirituality.

  • Tutor: Graham Howes

    • Graham Howes is an Emeritus Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. His Art of the Sacred was published in 2007.

  • Tutor: Ben Pink Dandelion

    • Ben Pink Dandelion is Honorary Professor of Quaker Studies at Woodbrooke College and author of numerous works on Quakerism.

  • Tutor: Margaret Gill

    • Margaret Gill is studying for an MA in Fine Art in Farnham. She has a long term interest in spirituality and the creative imagination.

  • Tutor: Roger Homan

    • Roger Homan teaches Religious Studies at the University of Brighton. Since becoming blind he has cultivated a particular interest in the visual arts. He is author of The Art of the Sublime.

  • Tutor: Anne Long

    • Anne Long is a retired Anglican priest with a particular interest in contemporary poetry.