16 July 2020

Art, Religion, and Theology (ART)


ART in Orvieto is an advanced summer studies program in art, religion, and theology located in Orvieto, Italy, a magnificent hill town 90 minutes north of Rome. The program offers an ecumenical exploration of Christian understandings of the arts. It provides a three weeks residency designed for artists, graduate students in relevant fields, and other adult learners interested in engaging the intersection of art, religion, and theology.

For further details, please see the dedicated ART in Orvieto webpage.

Art, Religion, and Theology: Theologies of Art in the Christian Tradition
ICS AiO 120102 S20
ICH3350HS L4101 / ICH6350HS L4101*
Dr. Rebekah Smick

Experiential Learning in Faith and the Arts: Artists' Workshop
ICS AiO1501/2501VAA S20
ICP3851HS / ICP6851HS 0101*
Dr. Rebekah Smick, David Holt

Experiential Learning in Faith and the Arts: Writers' Workshop
ICS AiO 1501WA S20
ICP3861HS / ICP6861HS 0102*
Dr. Rebekah Smick, John Terpstra

Intensive, In-Person
Location: Orvieto, Italy (July 16 - August 6, 2020)

(MWS, MA, PhD)


*TST students have to register with ICS Registrar to complete registration


7 July 2020

Set the Prisoners Free: Christianity and Prison Abolition (Intensive)

“He has sent me to proclaim release to the prisoners
    and recovery of sight to the blind,
        to let the oppressed go free, 
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

--Luke 4:18

Jesus’s Gospel is a message of freedom. Liberation from bondage permeates the biblical narrative as a driving theme, with Jesus quoting Isaiah as he announces the Spirit of the Lord is upon him to proclaim release to the prisoners and to let the oppressed go free.

Yet the United States of America, a country that many Christians call home, has the highest incarceration rate of any country on the planet. By some estimates, although the US has only 5% of the world’s population, it contains over 20% of the world’s prison population. People of color, especially Black Americans, are disproportionately incarcerated, making up nearly 40% of the US prison population despite being 13% of the population as a whole. In Canada, another country with deep Christian origins, Indigenous people make up 46% of incarcerated youth and only 8% of Canada’s population.

Mass incarceration and its ties to systemic racism have prompted a radical movement for not only prison reform, but the abolition of prisons altogether. Such a proposal raises many questions. What would a world without prisons look like? How should communities deal with injustices? What are the causes of crime, and how might justice be done without the prison? In this thirteen week online class, we will explore how Christianity both funds the ideology of mass incarceration and a spirit of prison abolition, asking what it would mean to proclaim release to the prisoners today.

All-online (NOTE dates changed: July 14 - August 20, 2020)

ICSD 132903 S20
Dean Dettloff
Distance (Online)



*Attention TST students: if you are interested in taking this course for credit, you must petition your college of registration to count the course credit toward your degree program.