21 February 2024

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.

Intensive, July 14 - August 3, 2024
Orvieto, Italy

(MWS, MA, PhD)

Art, Religion, and Theology: Theologies of Art in the Christian Tradition
ICS AiO 120102 / 220102 S24*
ICH3350HS / ICH6350HS L4101**

For some, the idea of an expressly Christian art is a literal impossibility in the contemporary art world context. According to such a view, the sheer notion of a “Christian art” defies the very nature of art as we understand it. It suggests that art is a form of propaganda rather than the free expression of an individual artist. Yet, explicitly Christian art dominates the walls of most Western art museums. Further, much of this art is thought to represent the height of Western art practice. What is this puzzling history able to tell us about the relationship of art to Christianity? How have Christians understood are to function religiously and what relation does it have to how art is conceived in the modern context? 

This course will examine the art traditions of the three main branches of Christianity in their historical contexts with a view to understanding the relationship of Christianity to art today. It will consider the art histories of Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christianity, the theology pertinent to their understandings of the religious image, and what contemporary Christian philosophers and theologians have to say about the possibilities for Christian art in modern society. Taking full advantage of our setting in Orvieto, we will explore the art of the area as well as in Rome, Assisi, and Florence. The methodology used in the course will be a mix of lecture and class discussion on assigned readings.

Syllabus (forthcoming)


Experiential Learning in Faith and the Arts: Artists' Workshop
ICS AiO 1501VAA / 2501VAA S24*
ICP3851HS / ICP6851HS 0101**

The goal of this studio residency is to help practicing artists make substantial progress with a particular body of work. Participants will develop their artworks through various stages, from initial inspirations, ideas, and studies to more fully realized visual forms, while exploring relevant religious, theological, and art historical dimensions. Although we will emphasize the process of the creation of the works more than their final completion, there will be opportunities to display work produced during the residency. 

Works in a variety of media will be encouraged and supported. Practicing artists of all levels of experience are welcome and guidance will be tailored to meet individual needs, including help with regard to materials, techniques, and design issues; assistance with furthering technical skills; and direction in concept development, research, and interpretive methodologies. In addition to ongoing individual consultation, weekly sharing of one’s progress with the group will provide valuable opportunities for informed feedback and support.

Our well-equipped studio will be within the beautiful large space of a former 13th-century convent, which will allow everyone a dedicated personal workspace as well as space for group work, discussions, and shared displays of artwork. Open access to the studio will ensure ample time to work individually or together with other participating artists. A list of basic supplies will be sent to participants upon registration.

Syllabus (forthcoming)



Enrolment Notes:
Instructions on how to apply are available on the program page. March 31, 2024 is the application deadline for courses in the ART in Orvieto summer program. ICS reserves the right reject applications when the maximum capacity has been reached.


*NOTE: Each course is approved for Area 4 of the CSTC

**Attention TST students: you have to contact the ICS Registrar to complete your registration