Occasionally, we get the chance to meet with Pentecostal authors who are engaging their own contexts in unique and fruitful ways. Steven Félix-Jäger is one of these authors. His newest work, Spirit of the Arts, deals with the intersection of the Spirit with the arts and theological aesthetics. Check out the description below and don’t be afraid to pick up a copy for yourself!
What is Spirit of the Arts About?
A theological engagement with the arts not only enriches our experience of the world, but also fosters our spirits by helping us think creatively and imaginatively about religious matters. Félix-Jäger’s book Spirit of the Arts introduces the conversation surrounding the arts as produced by the communities derived from the charismatic renewal movements. This is done in order to extend a theological aesthetics with a pneumatological accent that understands the Spirit’s role in both our sense of being and creative production. Félix-Jäger argues that the arts can be viewed as an outworking of the Spirit being poured out on all flesh. The Universal Outpour motif is a root metaphor that is able to situate the arts in a renewal framework that relates both communally to the broader cultural context, and within a context of charismatic worship. The book fleshes out these sentiments with an interdisciplinary study of various art forms including Dance, Music, Orality, Visual Art, Cinema, and Architecture. Félix-Jäger looks at human experience phenomenologically and then addresses the cultural and theological implications of the given artform in the renewal context both liturgically and in culture at large. As such, Spirit of the Arts offers a unique theological aesthetics that is steeped in the traditions of the global renewal.
What are Other People Saying?
Steven Félix-Jäger’s Spirit of the Arts is surprising in a number of ways. First, it’s remarkable that the book exists at all, given that pentecostals and charismatics historically have given such little attention to aesthetics. Even when we have done so, we’ve failed to take seriously arts like dancing or architecture; music and orality have been much more our style. Thankfully, Félix-Jäger’s thinking runs as broadly as it does deeply. Second, only the rarest theological/philosophical texts in any tradition actually have the power to move the conversation forward. But this work should prove to be an exception. Equal parts learned and creative, irenic and curious, it is a book Pentecostals and charismatics need to read. Who knows where the conversation might go?
– Chris Green, Associate Professor of Theology, Pentecostal Theological Seminary
Faithful to his tradition and imminently open to fresh discoveries, Félix-Jäger performs a great service for the broader conversation regarding theology and the arts with his creative proposal toward a ‘renewal aesthetics.’ In this remarkable project, he manages to balance the potentially disparate concerns of maintaining a distinct ecclesial tradition and demonstrating generous and generative engagement with a multiplicity of art forms. Few scholars have attempted such endeavors, and even fewer have demonstrated such astounding fidelity to both concerns. Félix-Jäger provides a theological model for understanding and stewarding the arts that will both encourage and inspire.
– Taylor Worley, Associate Professor of Faith and Culture, Trinity International University
Where Can You Get a Copy?
Spirit of the Arts will be available on Amazon on December 8. You can pre-order (or convince your library to buy a copy) now. Until then ,check out some of Félix-Jäger’s other work that is also available on Amazon!
Note from the Editorial Team: Engaged Pentecostalism is a community that values open dialogue and respectful engagement from different perspectives. The views expressed above are the author's own and do not reflect those of every part of the community.