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Catholicism, Literature, and the Arts 

  • What substantive relationships of conceptual and formal influence exist between Catholicism and the arts? 
  • Is there such a thing as Catholic literature, Catholic music, and Catholic art? If so, in what ways does their catholicity reside in relevant ideas, attitudes, values, and beliefs?
  • Are there distinctive styles and traditions of Catholic writing, composition, and painting? 
  • Are there particular images and themes which Catholic writers, artists, and musicians have explored over the years? 
  • Are there certain styles of composition, writing, and painting which have come to be associated with the expression of Catholic spirituality? 
  • And how is Catholicism depicted more broadly in literature and the arts, regardless of the catholicity of their originating creators? 

These are some of the challenging questions tackled in the CCS’s research programme in Catholicism, Literature, and the Arts.

 

Conferences 

Catholicism, Literature, and the Arts I (July 2017) 

This research group was pleased to present the CCS’s first international conference on Catholicism, Literature, and the Arts in July 2017. Ninety writers, teachers, students, clergy, and members of the public from Britain, Ireland, Continental Europe, North America, and elsewhere gathered for a series of plenary lectures, short papers, seminar discussions, presentations, performances, and exhibitions on Catholic writers and artists from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Among the main topics of the conference were Catholic memoir and autobiography, Catholic fiction and poetry, and Catholic painting and sculpture. 

Catholicism, Literature, and the Arts II: Legacies and Revivals (July 2019) 

This second biennial conference explored key questions concerning the relationship between Catholicism and the arts, including literature, music, and visual art. What substantive relationships of conceptual and formal influence exist between Catholicism and the arts? Is there such a thing as Catholic literature, Catholic music, and Catholic art? If so, in what ways does their catholicity reside in relevant ideas, attitudes, values, and beliefs? 

Listen to the keynote presentations here

The Missa Cantata is also available on video (with the liturgy booklet available for download)

Catholicism, Literature, and the Arts III: The Poetics of Liturgy and Place (July 2022) 

12-14 July 2022, to be held in person in London, hosted by our partners at the University of Notre Dame London Global Gateway.

The theme of The Poetics of Liturgy and Place will be engaged by speakers, artists, and poets, and by musical performance, inviting reflection on the Catholic tradition's contribution to 'place-making' through the arts.

For more information, including the Call for Papers, please see the conference webpage