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date: 19 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Whether we are trying to judge issues of immediate interest or fathom matters of long-standing concern, history gives us the key for understanding the complex and often tangled relationship of evangelicalism to the arts. We need the help of that history for two reasons, the first of which is that the story of the evangelical engagement with the arts has largely been one of action and adaptation rather than one of theory and reflection. A second reason has to do with the fact that evangelical Christianity and the contemporary arts are fluid realities rather than fixed entities. Throughout their history, evangelical Christians have faithfully borne witness to what Karl Barth calls the “covenant of grace,” and in works of mission and mercy they have brought the message of the cross into virtually every culture and corner of the world. This article discusses the relationship between evangelicalism and the arts. It also examines Romanticism, Reformation, Protestantism, modernism, and fundamentalism as well as the resurgence of the relationship between evangelicalism and the modern arts in the mid-twentieth century.

Keywords: Christianity, evangelicalism, arts, Romanticism, Reformation, Protestantism, modernism, fundamentalism, culture

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