n HTS : Theological Studies - Psychospiritual analysis and appreciation of Vincent van Gogh
Bone Dead and Rising, Vincent Van Gogh and the Self Before God, Charles Davidson : book review

Volume 67, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0259-9422
  • E-ISSN: 2072-8050



The Reverend Dr Charles Davidson is a retired Presbyterian preacher and notable Pastoral Theologian. He has given us a volume of psychospiritual analysis and appreciation of the person, life, and work of one of the world's greatest artists. Vincent van Gogh's art is the expression of a deeply sensitive soul working uncompromisingly at the aggressive search for life's authentic meaning as lived out before the face of God. Van Gogh repudiated the scholasticism of 18th and 19th century Reformed Theology, the brazen racism and elitism of the caste structured Dutch culture, and the inauthenticity of the church's claims to represent Christ whilst it hid away in its wealthy and carefully disguised Bourgeois patriarchalism. Vincent would have none of it. Like Jesus Christ, he would not back down on his radical notion of universal and unconditional divine grace, considered rank heresy in his theological tradition. That quest sickened and exhausted him, and like Christ, in that quest he died.

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