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date: 27 May 2020

(p. xi) Acknowledgments

(p. xi) Acknowledgments

A volume like this is, by its very nature, the product of many hands. As editor, it has been a privilege for me to have the opportunity to work with an array of highly qualified contributors in areas relevant to the study of religion and the arts. Many of them made adjustments of one kind or another to meet the particular needs of this Handbook.

I also want to acknowledge, for my part, the generous support of various institutions and individuals. First, there is Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis. CTS not only granted me blocks of time to work on this project, but also provided a truly congenial environment, with its long-time commitment to the study of the arts in the context of ecumenical and inter-religious theological education. As I was working on this Handbook, moreover, CTS allowed me to serve a semester as the inaugural Henry Luce Professor of Theology and the Arts at St. John’s School of Theology · Seminary in Collegeville, Minnesota and—during several spring terms—as the Alexander Campbell Visiting Professor of Religion and the Arts at the University of Chicago Divinity School. Those institutions gave me access to contrasting yet complementary environments, and to scholars and scholarship in different traditions and fields pertinent to religion and the arts. To the administrators, faculty, staff, and students at all three institutions, I extend my heartfelt thanks, although I am eager to add the common but important disclaimer that none of them is to be held responsible for any deficiencies in what has emerged.

The idea for this Handbook was suggested to me many years ago by Theo Calderara of Oxford University Press. I am grateful to him for much more than that initial suggestion, however. In addition to making various constructive recommendations, he allowed me latitude to shape this Handbook in some distinctive ways. Equally important, he also gave me much-needed encouragement under trying circumstances.

As already implied, work on this project extended longer than expected, partly due to interruptions impossible to anticipate. Friends and family—and most of all my daughter Joanna Burch-Brown—helped me in ways my words cannot begin to express when this project was interrupted most precipitously and lengthily by the sudden and unexpected death of my spouse, Mary Harter Mitchell. This was an enterprise in which Mary much believed, and one that she much encouraged. The publisher has kindly granted permission for this volume to be dedicated to her memory.

—Frank Burch Brown