Religion & Art Talks

Following 2021’s Religion & Art Forum, four keynote speakers were invited in 2022 to present a series of longer format interdisciplinary talks, followed by an extended opportunity for questions and open discussion.



9 May: José Carlos Diaz

Andy Warhol’s Revelation

José Carlos Diaz is the Chief Curator at The Andy Warhol Museum. He has curated Farhad Moshiri: Go WestFantasy America; Becoming Andy Warhol; and Andy Warhol: Revelation currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum. In April 2022 he will open Paola Pivi: I Want It All. Diaz serves on the Board of Trustees for the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) and was a 2018 fellow at the Center for Curatorial Leadership (CCL). He received an MA in Cultural History from the University of Liverpool and a BA in Art History from San Francisco State University.

Throughout his life as a celebrity artist, Andy Warhol retained some of his Catholic practices, yet his relationship with Catholicism was far from simple. From iconic portraits to appropriated Renaissance masterpieces, Warhol flirted with styles and symbolism from Eastern and Western Catholic art history, carefully reframing them within the context of Pop. Through both obscure works such as the Sunset film commission from 1967, and late masterpieces like the Last Supper series (1986), José Carlos Diaz’ presented a fresh perspective on the artist.

Individual access to a recording of José Carlos Diaz’ talk is available on request


30 May: Adrian Rifkin

Art’s Atheism

Adrian Rifkin works with film and cinema, classical and popular music, canonical art and mass imagery, literature and pornography. Adrian Rifkin started his working life in the Department of Fine Art at Portsmouth Polytechnic working with art students as well as history and cultural studies students and architects, and finished as Professor of Art Writing at Goldsmiths. with an episode as professor of Fine Art at the University of Leeds and then of Visual Culture at Middlesex between these two points. Rifkin’s full biography, many of his essays, as well as his blog can be found at his website where there are essays on music, queer theory, artists’ work and so forth. He completed two exhibitions of the life and works of the composer Cornelius Cardew, together with Grant Watson, at MuHKA, Antwerp and The Drawing Room, and is involved in a range of conferences on art education and radical pedagogy in the UK.

Adrian Rifkin on ‘Art’s Atheism: some reflections on the singularities of art, or a critique of the ecumenical. Between Kristéva’s Giotto and the troubled realism of the Trinity’ followed by Q&A


20 June: Tina Beattie

Symbolism & Sacramentality

Tina Beattie left her post as Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Roehampton in August 2020. She continues in her role as Director of Catherine of Siena College, based at the University of Roehampton. Much of her research focuses on the relationship between the Catholic tradition and contemporary culture, particularly in areas to do with gender, sexuality and reproductive ethics; Catholic social teaching and women’s rights, and theology and the visual arts. She has a keen interest in Marian theology, art and devotion, and in the relationship between medieval mysticism, sacramental theology, and psychoanalytic theory. More recently, she is engaging in research into environmental theology in the context of Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’, approaching environmental issues from the perspectives of literature, poetry, art, music, gender theory and sacramentality.

Tina Beattie on ‘Symbolism and Sacramentality in Art: Medieval and Postmodern Representations of the Little Garden of Paradise’ followed by Q&A


11 July: Jarel Robinson-Brown

Catholicism and the French School of Music

Jarel Robinson-Brown is the Assistant Curate at St Botolph-without-Aldgate and Holy Trinity Minories in the Diocese of London. He is also Visiting Scholar in Contemporary Spirituality at Sarum College, Salisbury and Vice-Chair of the LGBT Christian Charity OneBodyOneFaith which works for the full inclusion of LGBT people in the Church. Jarel’s academic interests are in Early Christian History, Patristics, and Egyptian Late Antiquity. He is particularly interested in the body, desire, gender and ethnicity in Christian Late Antiquity and has published in the areas of queer theology, liberation theology and trauma theology. Jarel’s most recent book is Black, Gay, British, Christian, Queer: The Church and The Famine of Grace (SCM Press, 2021) described by Peter Tatchell as ‘a liberation theology for the twenty-first century. Jarel’s black queer Christian voice challenges the straight white church with a call to overturn its long history of racism and homophobia – and to embrace love, diversity, inclusion and equality for all’.

Jarel Robinson-Brown on ‘Catholicism and the French School of Music: the experience of studying music in Paris, and how that has shaped my faith and identity as a black, queer person of faith, with reference to the uniqueness of the French School’ followed by Q&A