The Research Centre, The Bible and the Visual Imagination, is based in the School of Theology, Religious Studies and Islamic Studies at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, and brings together staff and students interested in the visual representation of biblical narrative.
The distinctive aims of the Centre are implied in the title: by Bible, we mean both the Old and New Testament as well as Apocryphal literature, under visual we include not only the traditional fine arts but also popular depictions of scriptural piety, and by the term imagination, we want to draw attention to the artist's creativity, the role of the artistic impulse that gave rise to such creative expressions as well as the role of the reader’s imagination in visualizing biblical characters and scenes.
The website of The Bible and the Visual Imagination aims to disseminate examples of our research and work-in-progress and we hope that it will help establish lines of communication with the many other centres now engaged in exploring the Bible’s rich cultural afterlives in art, music and literature.
The Centre has engaged in three research projects, reflecting the interests and expertise of its members:
Imaging the Bible in Wales (an Arts and Humanities Research Council project)
The Bible and Art: Towards an Interdisciplinary Methodology (a British Academy project)
Art in the Abrahamic Faiths (with the assistance of the Leverhulme Trust)
The Centre enjoys excellent collaborative relations with all the major research and cultural institutions of Wales, many of which house special collections pertinent to the centre’s research focus. Chief among these are: the National Museum Wales, the National Library of Wales, the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies in Aberystwyth and the School of Art of Aberystwyth University.
Panel from a series depicting scenes from the First Book of Kings, 1870s, Bute Tower, Cardiff Castle.
Courtesy Cardiff Castle (Cardiff Council)