The Arts and Ecumenism: Theology and the Risk of Artistic Creation

Celebrating the 5th Centenary of the Reformation

May 2017

Strasbourg - Paris - Florence

Lectures - Concerts - Art Exhibitions

The Arts and Ecumenism

ON THE 500TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE REFORMATION, this ecumenical event sponsored by the Mount Tabor Centre will focus on evolving visions and the function of contemporary sacred art. Presentations by Catholic and Protestant speakers will discuss the varied approaches to art through history, theology, and liturgical context, post-Vatican II developments, and areas of growth and exchange, seen from both the American and the European viewpoint.

  • Theology of the Arts
  • Relationship of Heritage-Creation (“The Memory of the Future”)
  • Artistic Creation and Liturgy

THE EVENTS will unfold in Strasbourg, Paris, and Florence. In addition to lectures and presentations, they will feature concerts of choral masterworks by the world-renowned choir Gloriae Dei Cantores and exhibitions of contemporary sacred art.


Art Historian TIMOTHY VERDON directs the Diocesan Office of Sacred Art and Church Cultural Heritage in Florence, and the Cathedral Foundation Museum (Museo dell’Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore). The author of many books and articles, he has been a Consultant to the Vatican Commission for Church Cultural Heritage and a Fellow of the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, and currently teaches in the Florence Program of Stanford University. Msgr. Verdon is a Canon of the Florence Cathedral, Director of the Florence Archdiocese Center for Ecumenism, and the Academic Director of the Mount Tabor Centre for Art and Spirituality.
JÉRÔME COTTIN is Professor of Practical Theology at the Faculty for Protestant Theology at the University of Strasbourg, France. He also teaches at the Higher Institute of Theology Arts Theologicum of the Catholic Institute of Paris. For more than twenty years he has published numerous articles and books about Christianity and a Protestant Theology of image, and is responsible for the website
WILLIAM DYRNESS is a professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. He teaches courses on theology, culture, and the arts, and was a founding member of the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts. He has published many books, and served on the national boards of Christians in the Visual Arts, and Development Associates International. He has over 30 years of teaching experience in the United States, the Philippines, Kenya, and South Korea, and is an ordained Presbyterian minister.
DENIS HÉTIER is a Lecturer at the Higher Institute of Theology of the Arts at the Catholic Institute of Paris, and is an artist, sculptor, and priest of the diocese of Créteil.


Gloriae Dei Cantores

Gloriae Dei Cantores, an internationally acclaimed choir from The Community of Jesus in Orleans, MA, under the direction of Richard K. Pugsley, is dedicated to preserving and authentically interpreting sacred choral music from the eleventh to the twenty-first centuries. Founded in 1988, Gloriæ Dei Cantores has touched the hearts of audiences in 24 countries in Europe, Asia, and North America. They sing in eighteen languages and have a discography of more than fifty recordings.