What’s Art Got to Do With It?
This video features a discussion with Mark Sprinkle -- painter, educator, writer, and BioLogos Senior Fellow -- about the relationship between art and science. Art and creative expression, Sprinkle explains, are simply ways to give form to metaphor. Metaphor, in turn, is at the heart of two seemingly opposing entities: our understanding of God and our understanding of science.
While science is a data-driven pursuit, when we talk about what it actually means we almost always use metaphor. As an example, Sprinkle mentions the way we talk about atoms as tiny particles orbiting around other tiny particles. This description is based on data. It refers, however, to the metaphorical Greek idea that everything can be broken down into smaller and smaller particles or “building blocks”.
In a similar manner, spirituality and our understanding of God intrinsically include images. When Jesus describes the Kingdom of God, for example, he uses a variety of metaphors, implementing many layers of imagery to give his followers a more complete picture.
It is impossible, Sprinkle concludes, to talk about complicated things without reference to our senses. “Art”, he states, “is a language of description that connects both science and faith”.
Commentary written by the BioLogos editorial team.
Mark Sprinkle is an artist and cultural historian, and was formerly Senior Web Editor and Senior Fellow of Arts and Humanities for The BioLogos Foundation. A phi beta kappa graduate of Georgetown University, he received his M.A. and Ph.D. in American Studies from the College of William and Mary, where he studied how artworks embody complex relationships in different cultural contexts. Since 1996 he has been an independent artist and frame-maker, also regularly writing and speaking on the role of creative practices in cultural mediation and renewal, especially in the area of science and Christian faith. Mark and his wife Beth home-schooled their three boys, and are active in the local home-school community in Richmond, Virginia.