Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts (DITA) promotes a vibrant engagement between Christian theology and the arts at Duke Divinity School and beyond. Through events, teaching, and research, it is dedicated to showing how the arts can be enriched by theology, and theology in turn renewed through the arts.
At the heart of DITA’s vision is this key insight: the arts (including music, visual arts, and literature) do not just illustrate theology but are themselves modes of theological expression. The arts shape the imagination of the community and provide the forms through which many people most directly and compellingly encounter the message of the gospel.
Professor Begbie is the director of DITA and author of numerous publications on theology and the arts, including most recently, Music, Modernity, and God: Essays in Listening.
DITA is energized by cutting-edge research at the interface of theology and the arts with special attention to music, literature, and the visual arts. This research is conducted by DITA Director Jeremy Begbie, as well as by postdoctoral associates and students. Recent research projects have also involved collaboration with the University of Cambridge in England.
Art in Action
DITA is dedicated to fostering the arts within Duke University and through events in both the U.S. and Europe. In recent years, DITA has premiered a new setting of St. Luke’s Passion, a visual and musical celebration of T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, and a concert featuring Oliver Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen.
DITA's teaching mission has brought exciting courses, lectures, and arts programs to the Divinity School that give students the opportunity to explore connections between theology and the arts. Courses have been taught by Begbie and by postdoctoral associate Daniel Train.
Reinvigorating the Arts and Theology
DITA promotes a vibrant interplay between Christian theology and the arts by encouraging transformative leadership and enriching theological education in the Church, academy, and society.