Art and Faith

A Theology of Making

Makoto Fujimura; Foreword by N. T. Wright

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From a world-renowned painter, an exploration of creativity’s quintessential—and often overlooked—role in the spiritual life

“Makoto Fujimura’s art and writings have been a true inspiration to me. In this luminous book, he addresses the question of art and faith and their reconciliation with a quiet and moving eloquence.”—Martin Scorsese
 
“[An] elegant treatise . . . Fujimura’s sensitive, evocative theology will appeal to believers interested in the role religion can play in the creation of art.”—Publishers Weekly

Conceived over thirty years of painting and creating in his studio, this book is Makoto Fujimura’s broad and deep exploration of creativity and the spiritual aspects of “making.” What he does in the studio is theological work as much as it is aesthetic work. In between pouring precious, pulverized minerals onto handmade paper to create the prismatic, refractive surfaces of his art, he comes into the quiet space in the studio, in a discipline of awareness, waiting, prayer, and praise.
 
Ranging from the Bible to T. S. Eliot, and from Mark Rothko to Japanese Kintsugi technique, he shows how unless we are making something, we cannot know the depth of God’s being and God’s grace permeating our lives. This poignant and beautiful book offers the perspective of, in Christian Wiman’s words, “an accidental theologian,” one who comes to spiritual questions always through the prism of art.

Makoto Fujimura is an artist whose recent exhibitions in New York and Asia have been featured in the New York Times, the Atlantic, and other leading publications. He is also an award-winning author and the founder of IAMCultureCare and the Fujimura Institute, and co-founder of Kintsugi Academy. He has served on the National Council on the Arts.
 

“This brief, very crisply and lucidly written book makes a brilliantly and distinctly personal contribution to the ongoing discussions around faith and the creative imagination.”—Rowan Williams

"Makoto Fujimura’s art and writings have been a true inspiration to me. In this luminous book, he addresses the question of art and faith and their reconciliation with a quiet and moving eloquence.”—Martin Scorsese

“Here a world-class painter and cultural critic reinterprets both the creative act and the nature of Christian faith in a way that should interest anyone concerned with the indispensable role of the creative imagination in human flourishing.”—Ellen Davis, Duke Divinity School

"Makoto Fujimura is the rare artist whose life has something of the same purifying and galvanizing force of his work. His new book brings those two elements—life and art—even closer together, and is a real tonic for our atomized time."—Christian Wiman

“In the presence of the beautiful ‘we act like someone who is all ears and eyes: beauty has something to say to us,’ wrote Nietzsche. Reading this book, I fell silent and became all ears and eyes.”—Miroslav Volf, Yale Divinity School

“Makoto Fujimura writes and creates with a joy that truly celebrates and nurtures the beauty and goodness both in and all around us. His work inspires a deep love for the details that make up our colorful world.”—Amanda Cook, Bethel Music

“In a time of polarization and culture wars, Makoto Fujimura takes broken pieces and makes beauty through his art. I’m delighted that he has put his lived theology in written form so that we can emulate his example!”—David M. Bailey, CEO of Arrabon and founder of Urban Doxology

“Makoto Fujimura is able to draw a through-line between the chaos of our current age, the communal tension that has been permeating for centuries, the purposeful encounters in blessed community, and the sparks of inspiration to newness—all leading him toward a theology of making. As you read this book, you will be blessed, inspired, and encouraged to participate.”—September Penn, CEO and Artistic Director, The Power of Song

"Mako Fujimura is an extraordinary visual artist whose words are as provocative and penetrating, and as lavishly beautiful as his painted works. Art and Faith is a reflection of Mako’s artistic approach—considered, slow, and generative. From broken gems and fractured pigments he mixes, layers, and recombines elements into a dazzling new creation. A balm for the soul weary of culture warring, this book is an invitation to discover the joy and meaning of generativity, a summons to learn to know and love God and each other better, to participate in the work of re-creation."—Cherie Harder, President, The Trinity Forum

“[An] elegant treatise . . . Fujimura’s sensitive, evocative theology will appeal to believers interested in the role religion can play in the creation of art.”—Publishers Weekly

“One of the most important faith-and-work books written to date. Drawing from rich biblical and theological streams, Fujimura helps us see a distinctive alternative that challenges the pragmatism that overwhelmingly characterizes our approach to work today. If digested slowly, Art and Faith will turn workers into makers whose imaginations have been captivated by the New Creation that is to come.”—David Kim, Goldenwood NYC

“A beautiful book . . .  Art and Faith should be widely read. Its delightful wisdom and clarity underlines our culture’s desperate need to make things new.”
—Susanne Sklar, Arts Fuse

“A brilliant, dense, and far-reaching study of the relationship between art, artist, and the living Creator . . . Fujimura brings his passion, talent, knowledge, and love of God and man strongly to bear.”—Richard Christman, Forefront

“One of the most beautiful aspects of Art and Faith, and I would argue one of the most appealing aspects of Christianity itself, is the insistence that though the world is broken, its brokenness is the basis of its rebirth . . . Fujimura often uses moving personal anecdotes . . .  that lure us in with their warmth, humor, and tenderness. And anyone interested in the creative act or worried about our culture’s elevation of consuming over making will find plenty to mull over.”—Scott Beauchamp, Washington Examiner

Art and Faith features more biblical exegesis than studio tips, as the painter wrestles eloquently with art-averse fellow-Christians who prefer narrow-minded “culture war” to the “culture care” he advocates.”—The Economist

“This book is a triumph: a beautiful blend of scholarship, personal transparency, artistic insight, and biblical meditation. Art and Faith has forever deepened my understanding of both art and faith.”—Philip Yancey, author of What's So Amazing About Grace?

“Engaging . . . Fujimura gathers the many themes from each corner of his vibrant career into a single volume that persuasively articulates a ‘theology of making’ while communicating that vision in a contemplative style that itself radiates the very creativity he advocates.”—Joel Clarkson, Christianity Today
ISBN: 9780300254143
Publication Date: January 5, 2021
184 pages, 5 1/2 x 7 1/2