Produced in honour of Calvin Seerveld at his retirement from the Institute from Christian Studies in Toronto, this volume highlights Seerveld's legacy as a scholar, teacher, and cultural leader even as it breaks new ground in the fields of cultural theory and aesthetics. The introduction discusses the importance of Seerveld's contributions to the study of the arts and culture, summarizes the essays in this collection, and relates them to themes in Seeveld's work. The volume's fourteen essays extend Seerveld's efforts to new areas and probe the traditions on which his efforts rely. An open letter from Nicholas Wolterstorff and a bibliography of Seerveld's writings begin and conclude the volume.
The essays in Part I (Cultural Theory) test the fruitfulness of Seerveld's aesthetic theory for fields of study that have opened in recent years: popular culture, performance art, computer imagery, and the 'new art history'. These essays provide criticisms and refinements of Seerveld's categories while building on his contributions to a transformational aesthetic theory.
The essays in Part II (Philosophical Dialogue) give testimony to the close and engaged reading of philosophical texts that characterizes Seerveld's teaching and scholarship. These essays examine the cultural theories of three major figures in twentieth century philosophy- Jacques Derrida, John Dewey, and Martin Heidigger- in search of insights relevant to Christian understanding of the arts and culture.
The essays of part III(Cultural Critique) provide lively,focussed & reflective commentaries of the sort for which Seerveld is admired. Each essay combines reflection on principle for appreciating cultural practices with commentaryon a specific product of 20th. century culture - a monument, a film, a painted collage, and a lyric poem. Common to all four of these essays is their concern for social justice and human solidarity amid oppression and conflict.
The essays in Part IV (Religious Art) exemplify Seerveld's passion for renewing and reclaiming the artistic heritage of Christianity, especially within the reformed tradition. Whether discussing paintings of the Madonna, music from the Calvinist Reformation, or biblical wisdom literature, each essay illuminates an area in which Seerveld has given cultural leadership. United by the cross-fertilizing of theory, criticism and history, and sharing a concern to help transform culture through Christian scholarship, all of these essays make a fitting tribute to Seerveld, a Reformational interdisciplinarian par excellence.