Advent is the season when we prepare both for the birth of Jesus and for his return in glory. It invites us to journey with the people who prepared his way, from the Old Testament Prophets to Mary the mother of God, and also to contemplate the reality of our own ultimate meeting with God. It is both a joyful and a serious season which challenges us to ask ourselves what really lies at the heart of our lives.
Jane Williams’ book The Art of Advent sheds new light on the season’s themes through art from all over the world, including masterpieces by Rembrandt, El Greco and Blake, 15th century Ethiopian frescoes and contemporary works from China, Australia and the UK. Considering how art can illuminate familiar themes and stories, we will explore paintings and the insights they offer into the theology and spirituality of Advent.
Dr Jane Williams is the Assistant Dean of St Mellitus College. She is the author of academic and popular works of theology including The Art of Advent (SPCK 2018) and The Merciful Humility of God (Bloomsbury 2018).