DITA is energized at its heart by cutting-edge research at the interface of theology and the arts with special attention to music, literature, and the visual arts.
The Director, Jeremy Begbie, has for many years been pursuing sustained research and publication, especially in the field of theology and music. This is critical to his leadership of DITA.
Also at the heart of DITA is a cohort of doctoral students who meet regularly to encourage each other, probe recent writing, and share samples of thier own emerging work.
Theology, Modernity, and the Arts (2015-2018)
Since 2009, DITA has also been promoting collaboration between the Universities of Duke and Cambridge. The first phase culminated in the April, 2014 performance of James MacMillan's St. Luke Passion, a piece jointly commissioned by Duke Divinity School.
This second phase is a project entitled Theology, Modernity, and the Arts. It addresses the question: how can the arts contribute to the theological narration of modernity, specifically a narration which employs the scriptural account of the New Creation in Christ as its guiding integrative vision?
The project aims to demonstrate:
- that the arts can bear their own kind of witness to the theological dynamics that have characterized and shaped modernity.
- that the arts can open up ways of addressing and moving beyond some of the intractable theological dilemmas which modernity has bequethed us.
- that the Scriptural theme of New Creation, realized and promised in Christ, has immense potential for elaborating a theological treatment of the story of modernity.
It will be launched during Holy Week of 2015 with a week of meetings and public events at Kings College in Cambridge, England. the events will include an exhibition of paintings by Mako Fujimura and Bruce Herman (shown at Duke in 2013), two lectures by former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams on the arts and modernity, a performance by DITA director Jeremy Begbie and pianist Cordelia Williams of Messiaen's Visions de l'Amen, a reading of a new work by poet Michael O'Siadhail, and a performance of the Duke-commissioned St. Luke Passion, conducted by the composer James MacMillian, with King's College Choir. (More Details)