History and Reformation

Thomas F. Torrance, "History and Reformation," Scottish Journal of Theology 4 (1951): 279-291; #1951-042
Torrance, Thomas F. "History and Reformation." Scottish Journal of Theology 4, no. 3 (1951): 279-291; #1951-042
In A Recent publication, Professor Wladimir Weidlé of the Russian Academy in Paris has some things to say about early Christian Art which are of intense interest to the Church historian. Unlike the Christian artist of other ages, he declares, “the early Christian painter or sculptor made no attempt, even unconsciously, to let the form of his work answer in some degree to its specific religious and Christian content… The form in these paintings and carvings simply carries their content, and makes no attempt to express or embody it… What is most remarkable is to find this indifference not to be confined to form in the ordinary sense of the word, but to extend to the inward form—the dramatic or poetic rendering of the given subject… We find no attempt made to imagine how a thing must have looked at the time when it happened. The only peculiarity here to be seen is that the inward form is, in this art, simplified and condensed to the vanishing point; something there must be, but there is as little as possible.” (The Baptism of Art, pp. 8, 9.)