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.
- Music Modernity, and God: Essays in Listening (Oxford: Oxford University Press, December 2013)
- "The Future of Theology Amid the Arts: Some Reformed Reflections" in Christ Across the Disciplines: Past, Present, Future, ed. Roger Lundin (Eerdmans, 2013)
- “Natural Theology and Music” in The Oxford Handbook of Natural Theology, ed. Russell Re Manning (Oxford University Press, 2013)
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 their own emerging work.
Duke Divinity & University of Cambridge Collaboration
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.
Theology, Modernity, and the Arts (2015-2018)
This second phase comprises of 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 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. This can be shown with regard to particular pieces of art, as well as by considering the ways in which various artisitc practices characteristically operate.
- that arts of modernity can give voice to particular questions, cultural quandries or impasses that call for, and have already called for, scriptural and creedal responses rooted in a theology of New Creation.
- that the arts can open up ways of addressing and moving beyond some of the intractable dilemmas and pathologies which have hampered modern theology.
- that the Scriptural theme of the New Creation, realized and promised in Christ, has immense potential for elaborating a theological treatment of the trajectories of modernity, a potential neglected or underdeveloped in many of the existing accounts.
The project was initiated during Holy Week of 2015 in King's College, Cambridge with a meeting of its Steering Group (see below). Plans for the future were discussed and drafted, all in the setting of the international Easter at King's festival. It is proposed to produce a series of publications, commissioned art works, and online resources, over a four-year period.
Members of the Steering Group
- Jeremy Begbie (Chair), Thomas A. Langford Research Professor of Theology, Duke Divinity; Affiliated Lecturer, Faculty of Music University of Cambridge
- David Ford, Regius Professor of Theology, University of Cambridge
- Tom Greggs, Professor of Historical & Doctrinal Theology, University of Aberdeen
- Jennie Grillo, Assistant Professor of Old Testament, Duke Divinity School
- Richard Hays, Dean, Duke Divinity School
- Gregory Jones, Former Dean & Senior Strategist for Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School
- Roger Lundin, Arthur F. Holmes Professor of Faith & Learning, Wheaton College
- Chloe Reddaway, Howard & Roberta Ahmanson Fellow in Art and Religion at the National Gallery, London
- Michael O'Siadhail, poet
- Alan Torrance, Professor of Systematic Theology, University of St. Andrews