Julie Babb

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Bisanz, Rudolf M.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

School of Art


Christian art and symbolism--Modern period; 1500-; Freedom and art--History--20th century


This thesis focuses on the freedoms of expression available to a specific type of artist: the Christian artist. Many well-known artists of the twentieth century have painted, sculpted or designed the occasional work for a church or have, on occasion, used Christian subject matter for various reasons. But what is more seldom seen is the artist who devotes a substantial amount of his work to his belief, experience, growth and life in Jesus Christ. There are, though, a sufficient number of successful Christian artists in the twentieth century to prove the authenticity of, and interest in, modern Christian art. This paper will document the freedoms that belong to the Christian artist: freedoms of truth and expression gained through the movement of modernism and through God. To elaborate, the freedoms the Christian artist has gained through modernism will be the same freedoms of any other modern artist, but a new dimension of freedom is added when that modern artist is also a Christian; this is due to the freedoms that artist has accepted from his God. In addition to its central concern, Christian faith, this presentation has faith-oriented components regarding the motivations and personal expression of the artists in their work and social components regarding the effects the artists have on their communities and which the communities have on them. This thesis, intended to be polemical and apologetic, is divided into seven chapters, each focusing on a different freedom of truth and/or expression belonging to the modern Christian artist: 1)freedom from tradition and the past; 2)freedom of truth and expression; 3)freedom from the object; 4)art as a language; 5)freedom to obey the inner voice; 6)freedom of creation; and 7)freedom to interact with a community and its individuals.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [51]-53)


76 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type