Thank you for visiting Biola’s Center for Christian Thought. This site is not being updated on a regular basis while we are developing new projects for the future. In the meantime, please continue to enjoy the videos, podcasts and articles currently available on the site.

The Table Video

Miroslav Volf& Stacey Floyd-Thomas

Art, Suffering, & Living in the Already-Not Yet - Stacey Floyd-Thomas & Miroslav Volf

Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology, Yale Divinity School / Founding Director, Yale Center for Faith & Culture
Associate Professor of Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt University Divinity School
March 25, 2019

Art, Suffering, & Living the Already-Not Yet: Stacey Floyd-Thomas & Miroslav Volf – The Table Conference, Resilience: Growing Stronger Through Struggle


Thank you for being an artist. it’s not an easy job, or an easy vocation, whatever it is these days. And enduring working on those artistic creations is fantastic. When I think of, in terms of suffering, first thing that comes to my mind is we’re all serious missionaries after the World War II, right? And many, many artist who have articulated that the suffering, or for me actually, the first thing that comes to mine, actually, is a great creation, sculptor, even Messerschmidt. And his job is absolutely spectacular and incredibly powerful.

So, both in terms of articulate and the suffering drawing attention to kind of mismatches in lives that create the suffering. But also, maybe more difficult is, what do I do with the positive? [laughs] How do I kinda articulate the division so it doesn’t end being cheap and of contemporary. Christian artist, Mako Fujimura is probably the most powerful that I know. My knowledge is limited, but Mako is a good friend, and he’s wonderful, in thinking also artist, and I think, he’s right in a sense of analogy to the creation itself.

So, that creator, kind of new worlds are being opened up and created by art, things of art in those ways. I mean, I think of it as a-, just like every human being, with every human being new world comes into being from that person perspective entirely new world is born, right? So, in some ways also, the work of art does kind of the same thing, kinda triggers the shift into which worlds are born. That’s completely from somebody who knows zero about art. [slow music tempo]