The Scream – Existential Art and Image Bearing

The Scream

The Scream

There’s a well-known work of existential art by Edvard Munch (moongk) called The Scream who wrote beneath the picture “I felt the great scream through nature.” The loss of meaning in many people’s lives takes the sensory form of a sexless, emasculated figure with a skull-like face. This figure’s twisted torso merges with the environment and loses its identity as a human being loved by God (Leland Ryken, Culture in Christian Perspective: A Door to Understanding and Enjoying the Arts (Critical Concern Book). If we remove God from life, we loose the meaning of our very existence for it’s in God that we are defined as His image bearers. Against the backdrop of existential despair, Christ came to show us image-bearers how to get life back. If we are merely machines, Munch has it right. But if we are God’s image-bearers, life is gladdened with purpose and meaning.

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