Obituary: The Right Rev John Tinsley

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The Independent Online
JOHN TINSLEY's years at Leeds as Professor of Theology overlapped these of the holder of the Chair of Fine Art, the late Sir Lawrence Gowing, writes The Rev Tom Devonshire Jones (further to the obituary by the Very Rev Alan Webster and the Ven Jeffrey Maples, 3 August). Each was at home in the other's field and at points their views converge.

John Tinsley is one of the authorities behind the recent recovery of confidence in the vital relationship between the visual arts and theology. Reflecting on the assumption held by the Church over many centuries that art has had no cognitive function, he wished the Church 'should have shown itself as concerned for workshops and studios as it has been for schools'. He went so far as to say that a theology for telling the Incarnation more adequately 'may well be expressed in a concrete but non-verbal way in the arts'.