On 26 April 2023, the Faculty of Theology and Religion hosted an event in the Javett Art Centre, on the University of Pretoria’s Hatfield Campus, to experience, reflect on and discuss a painting entitled “The Last Supper” by Cecil Skotness.
Those in attendance were given a chance to engage critically with this work of art, as it relates to issues of society, ancient cultures, and the church by joining an open conversation about Jesus and what the image of The Last Supper means to them in their faith communities and current context. This unique, interdisciplinary gathering allowed experts from Systematic Theology, Practical Theology, and New Testament Sciences to share their thoughts, opinions and perspectives.
As later expressed by one such expert and academic, Dr Dieter de Bruin, “What we experienced on that Wednesday was described by Gabi Ngcoboand Puleng Plessie of the Javett Art Centre as Communion. We experienced community amongst different faculties, different disciplines and different walks of life.
“Reflecting on this painting by Cecil Skotness was an experience of partaking in the communion between spirituality, academic theology, and personal reflection. People from Practical Theology, New Testament Studies and Systematic Theology could engage in a rich mixture of informed Social Scientific imagination, Sacramental Theology, and the Ethics of being and eating.
The gathering took place in what could be described as holy, set apart time and space for intentional participation in Beauty, Truth and Goodness.
It was a privilege for the Faculty of Theology and Religion to be hosted by the very kind staff of the Javett Gallery, and we look forward to being enticed by the arts together in future.”