How can weapons of war be turned into life-giving art?

By Press Office
March 1, 2012

As previously reported on Ekklesia, Professor Jolyon Mitchell from Edinburgh University delivered his inaugural lecture entitled 'How can weapons be turned into art? How can swords be transformed into ploughshares?' back in September last year. It is now available to view here on YouTube, and very well worth watching.

For some scholars and practitioners involved in building peace, the biblically-derived phrase 'Swords into Ploughshares' is an overused cliché that has lost its original force. In this illustrated public lecture, Professor Jolyon Mitchell investigates how this ancient text is being brought to life in many different parts of the world through artistic projects promoting peace.

He analyses how various artists are transforming weapons that used to kill into tools for farming, useful objects or symbols of peace. He explores how different museums, educators and film-makers are now using these pieces to envision peace.

Professor Mitchell considers the significance of these expressions of 'Swords into Ploughshares' in local, national and international peacebuilding.

The lecture is fully and imaginatively illustrated, in line with its subject matter, and condenses a great deal of thought into a lively and accessible presentation.

Jolyon Mitchell is Professor of Communications, Arts and Religion, Director of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues at the University of Edinburgh, and a former BBC World Service Producer and journalist.

* Watch and listen to the whole lecture here.

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