Christianity & Creativity: The Sublime in Art

Christianity & Creativity: The Sublime in Art

Here’s the latest in our video series Christianity & Creativity: The Sublime in Art.

The Sublime

The sublime is something important to your creative life and your spiritual life. But what is Sublime? The idea of The Sublime reminds me of the character Vizzini, from the movie Princess Bride, who repeatedly says “inconceivable.” He uses it for all kinds of things, which has the negative effect it diluting its meaning. Eventually, the down-to-earth sword fighter, Inigo Montoya, calls him out with the famous line, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Honestly, you could replace the word inconceivable with the word sublime. People use it while posting hashtags on selfies while zip-lining, they use it to describe art they love and to describe emotional experiences. The original meaning of the word has been muddied and thereby the very concept of the sublime, diluted. But the idea of the sublime is important both in our understanding of creative works of art and in our day-to-day life as Christians. If we are going to live wholehearted, holistic lives, we must have an idea of the sublime that brings together and gives meaning to both our creativity and our theology.

Watch this video to understand the role of the sublime in your art and your faith: 



Leave us your comments below!

Be sure to watch the other videos in this series:

Christianity & Creativity: Trinity

Christianity & Creativity: Feedback Loop

Christianity & Creativity: The Audience

Christianity & Creativity: An Artist’s Calling

Christianity & Creativity: Bezalel

Christianity & Creativity: Imago Dei

Christianity & Creativity: Freedom

Christianity & Creativity: Heart, Mind & Soul

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3 comments on “Christianity & Creativity: The Sublime in Art”

  1. Tom Bajoras Reply

    I can share my first experience of the sublime. I think I was about 3 years old, and I remember being with my parents in a church. And I remember sitting there, hearing the pipe organ and choir, and feeling like I’d been transported to another world. When our family went home afterward, I went to the piano in our living room. I was too small to get on the piano bench by myself, but my mother lifted me up onto the bench and sat there behind me so I wouldn’t fall off. And I sat at the piano and tried to figure out how to make that sound.

    That was the beginning of my musical journey, and I couldn’t know it until many years later that it was also the beginning of my spiritual journey. Because that experience of the sublime was actually pointing me to God. I didn’t know it then, but I’m sure of it now. And when I look back on it now, I realize that whenever I write music, I’m still trying to figure out how to make that sound. I’m trying to communicate that feeling of being in the presence of something so big, beautiful, and mysterious that it transcends my ability to put into words.

    • Joel Pelsue Reply

      Wow, Tom.
      What a beautiful illustration of the sublime that is both spiritual and creative.
      Your piano performances have always been quite moving, and this must be a key part of that!
      Thank you so much for sharing this.

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