HERE WAS A wonderful conference on Catholic Literature in Concord, New Hampshire last weekend featuring Dr. Thomas Howard, Dr. Mitchell Kalpakgian, Fr. Michael Kerper and Mr. Joseph Pearce. At the end of the conference, a panel Q&A session ended with the question, “What is Catholic Art?”
It is a difficult question and was not answered definitively. Dr. Kalpakgian explained that any great work of art which touches on Truth is certainly catholic in the lower-case sense. Dr. Howard warned that the danger of holding such a general definition is that everything from Virgil to Hokusai becomes a part of it and we can no longer discuss the art which flows directly from Christ via His Church.
I do not think that Catholic art need express theology didactically or even be created by a Catholic, but I think it should somehow touch upon the mysterious workings of grace within the soul through the means that Christ has instituted in the world… but perhaps that definition is just as broad.