Beauty in an Ugly Time

By DAVID LYLE JEFFREY

Sometimes we think of modernism in art as a period of great liberation from the constraints of the past, of the triumphant emergence to dominance of secularism and the demise of religion. This cliché overlooks, of course, the unprecedented violence of the 20th century, the horrible deaths of score of millions of people just because of their religious identity—Jews in the Holocaust and Christian martyrs all over the globe. Response to real evil is exceedingly various; many an artist has been driven to outrage or despair, others to self-indulgence and escapism. The recent exhibition at Baylor University of Georges Rouault’s Miserere et Guerre series and Marc Chagall’s Bible series (both made possible through a gracious loan of collections by the Mark Foster Family Foundation) offered an opportunity to reflect on an aspect of modernity so obtrusive that no artist concerned for truth can entirely overlook it: the monstrous fact of human suffering on such a scale.

About Stan Guthrie

Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine and for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His latest book is God's Story in 66 Verses. He also is author of All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy. He is co-author of The Sacrament of Evangelism. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers. Stan writes the monthly Priorities colum for BreakPoint.org. He has appeared on National Public Radio's €œTell Me More,€ WGN's Milt Rosenberg program, and many Christian shows, including The Eric Metaxas Show and Moody Radio'€™s €œNew Day Florida.€ A licensed minister and an inspirational speaker, he served as moderator for the Christian Book Expo panel discussion, Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?
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