The Eliot Society is named after T.S. Eliot, the modernist poet who insisted that Christian faith and artistic culture are inseparable.
In “Notes Toward the Definition of Culture,” Eliot warns of two errors into which a people might fall. The first error is to believe that any worthwhile culture can be preserved without religion. The second is to assume that:
“The preservation and maintenance of religion need not reckon with the preservation and maintenance of culture: a belief which may even lead to the rejection of the products of culture as frivolous obstructions to the spiritual life. To be in a position to reject this error, as with the other, requires us to take a distant view; to refuse to accept the conclusion, when the culture that we see is a culture in decline, that culture is something to which we can afford to remain indifferent.” T.S. Eliot
There are Christians who care about culture and the arts–which are the products of culture. There are artists in the church, and there are people who believe that artistic beauty has a vital place in the life of faith.
The Eliot Society exists to create places where such people can gather and connect, and where “culture care” can happen. Our season includes a lecture series, which brings renowned speakers to consider faith and the imagination. We also host concerts and other artistic events, meant to develop our appetite for beauty.
Our events are meant to inspire discussion about human creativity in the church community, and to provide opportunities for people to enjoy fine art, both old and new. We also hope to foster new creative voices in the Church, who are prepared and inspired to create both for the Church and for the secular arts scene. The Eliot Society aims to build a vibrant community of artists and lovers of art, all inspired by a shared faith and a shared hope.