The Bible and the Visual Arts


Some of the most engaging and creative insights into biblical narrative are found in paintings that adorn national and provincial galleries throughout Europe. They are a reminder that frequently our reading and understanding of biblical stories are influenced by our encounter with and response to the cultural, especially artistic, representations of a passage.

The aims of the research programme, The Bible and the Visual Arts, are to locate distinctive and representative appropriations of biblical paintings in galleries across Europe, draw parallels between ways in which biblical texts engage the reader and biblical paintings the viewer, and to create methodologies that ensure that visual interpretations of the bible play a central role in the 21st century in challenging (or supporting) traditional readings of biblical characters and plots.

The benefit of such a research area is that it is multidisciplinary and makes use of insights from a range of disciplines including art history, psychology, gender studies, and postcolonial studies.


Amsterdam 2012

This year the session will cooperate with the SBL "Bible and Visual Arts" session. Please refer to the SBL page.

Thessalonika 2011

In 2011, because of our location in Thessaloniki, we invite specifically papers on the representation of biblical characters and themes in the icons and traditions of the Orthodox Churches. While we wish, as always, to have an inclusive and representative range of topics in 2011, we particularly welcome papers that explore aspects of art relating to biblical interpretation in the iconography of the Orthodox tradition.

The Annual Conference 2021
takes place 2-5 August
in Wuppertal. Read more.