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Podcast - Season 1



We are best catechized by our senses. We learn from parables and fairy tales, stories with the same homespun elements in infinite arrangements that we come to know by heart.

It’s why I so often say that it is art and story that drew me back to the practice of faith, not theology.

“The Spirit is operative in spaces and places and institutions outside the church.”
—James K.A. Smith

“Liturgies work affectively and aesthetically,” writes Image’s new editor in chief, James K. A. Smith in his book, You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit. 

“They grab hold of our guts through the power of image, story, and metaphor. That’s why the most powerful liturgies are attuned to our embodiment; they speak to our senses; they get under our skin.”

Smith, who is also a philosophy professor at Calvin College, argues that traditional Christian worship re-orients our hearts toward eternity, while so much contemporary worship only apes popular culture, with churches designed to feel like secular spaces, arenas, malls and coffee shops.

Smith’s work has always moved me, not just as a person of faith but as a writer and artist, making me more aware of how art bends my internal compass, one way or another.

Now that Smith is editor in chief of Image, we’re working together to draw attention to the intersection of faith and the arts.

“If the believer is haunted by an echoing emptiness, the unbeliever can be equally haunted by a hounding transcendence.”
—James K.A. Smit



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The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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