Lecture series: The Arts & Early Christianity: with Professor Robin Jensen, July 23 Well, July 24 Auck

The Arts & Early Christianity: with Professor Robin Jensen

In partnership with the Theology Programme at the University of Otago, Venn Centre for the Arts brings you two conversation evenings with historian of Christian art and architecture Professor Robin Jensen. Whether you’re a practicing artist, or fascinated by the arts, these evenings offer an excellent opportunity to explore some of the ancient dynamics of Christianity and art-making.

Portraying the Invisible God: How Early Christian Artists Depicted Christ
The New Testament refers to Christ as the image of the invisible God, but it never describes his physical appearance. Professor Robin Jensen will explore how early depictions of Jesus expressed Christian beliefs about his divine and human natures as well as his mission as healer, teacher, and saviour.

  • Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington
  • All Saints Church, 90 Hamilton Road, Hataitai, Wellington
  • Tuesday, 23 July, 2024
  • 7pm-9pm


Art or Idolatry? Challenging the Myth of Christian Hostility to Visual Art
The history of Christianity and the visual arts has been marked by concern over images and idolatry. Professor Robin Jensen will consider how, contrary to what is often assumed, Christians made and used pictorial art no later than the early second century. These artworks drew upon stories from both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament and, as such, they were not regarded as idolatrous but instead served important purpose.

  • Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland
  • St Paul’s Church, 28 Symonds Street, Grafton, Auckland
  • Wednesday, 24 July, 2024
  • 7pm-9pm


About Professor Robin Jensen
Robin Margaret Jensen is Patrick O’Brien Professor of  Theology at the University of Notre Dame (USA). She is also affiliated with the University’s Department of Art, Art History, and Design, and its Medieval Institute. Author of several books on the history of Christian art and architecture, Professor Jensen’s teaching and research integrates historical theology and liturgical practices with the visual arts and built environments for Christian worship through time and across space. Before and during her theological education, she took an undergraduate major in studio arts and subsequent training in illustration at Parsons School of Design in New York City.