May 15, 2011. (Romereports.com) Christianity has been represented through some of the most famous works of literature and art; through paintings and sculptures by Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and novels by C.S. Lewis and Robert Whitlow.
But for many authors and artists who base their work on Christianity, at times have found it difficult to find an audience. Professor Evelyn Vitz from New York University believes this is largely because of the forces of secularism present in today's world.
Evelyn Birge Vitz
Professor and Author, New York University (USA)
“I think it's hugely difficult for a Catholic writer who wants a large audience, I mean the culture is not friendly towards Catholicism. Not only is it not friendly but doesn't understand it. The culture is secular and it's secular to some degree, because it doesn't know about Christianity or Catholicism, but it's also secular in that it doesn't want to know.”
Many point to the success of the novels “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “The Lord of the Rings” which have Christian themes and attracted large audiences to movie theaters for their release.
Joseph Pearce writes extensively on the presence of Christianity in literature. And his hope is for today's youth to find Christianity through different novels and movies.
Professor and Author, Ave Maria University (USA)
“I think that when we have these great works of literature such as 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Chronicles of Narnia', that are reaching new generations, that's getting them in the habit of reading. It's evangelizing their imagination. It's making them realize you can get to truth through the power of beauty and I think this is a very powerful presence.”
Movies have proven to be an especially effective tool in telling different stories from Christianity. Films like the “Passion of Christ” and “The Ten Commandments” are still talked about years after their release. Others that promote Christian values can seen from as far back as Frank Capra's “It's a wonderful live” to the more recent animated films like “Toy Story” and “Up”.
And for those working in the movie industry, the success of these films can all be traced to their basic function of telling stories on the human experience.
Film Critic (Spain)
“Generally all the stories are about ideas and values that have to do with being human and life experiences. And this has gone straight to the movies. Particularly the American classic film which is what we've seen for many years throughout almost the entire world, it's almost like step towards the current globalization.”
Great works of literature and art have the power to move and shape people. Christianity was a defining force of the arts over the centuries, but for those Christian artists looking towards the future, they are calling for a revival of the Christian arts.