Not all are called to be artists in the specific sense of the term. Yet, as Genesis has it, all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece. Saint Pope John Paul II, Letter to Artists

artOn this day students are exposed to excellence in art, as well as to how religious faith nourishes and permeates artistic expression. This introduction to the connection between faith and art gives another medium for grasping our world.

Faith and Art Speakers

David Elliot, PhD

Dr. David Elliot is an Assistant Professor of Moral Theology and Ethics at the Catholic University of America. He came to CUA in 2017 following a 3-year postdoctoral fellowship as Research Associate in Theological Ethics at Cambridge University, where he was concurrently a Research Associate in ethics at The Von Hügel Institute, St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge. His research focuses on virtue ethics and the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, and includes work on the theological virtue of hope, Christian social ethics, Scripture and ethics, and the art of dying. He received his Ph.D. in moral theology at the University of Notre Dame in 2014, and wrote his dissertation on theological hope.

Elliot has worked on ethical and social issues with the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, as well as members of the British House of Lords, and he is an ethics analyst for the BBC. We are lucky to have him on faculty in the School of Theology and Religious studies now that he has moved back to the United States with his family.

Bradley Gregory, PhD

Dr. Bradley Gregory grew up in Richmond, VA and Johnson City, TN. He completed a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism at the University of Notre Dame with a dissertation on the topic of generosity to the poor in the book of Sirach. Before coming to the Catholic University of America in 2014, he was an assistant professor at the University of Scranton and has served as a visiting faculty at the University of Notre Dame and St. John’s School of Theology (Collegeville, MN).

Dr. Gregory’s research and teaching interests include the Deuterocanonical books, sapiential ethics, and the transmission, translation, and interpretation of biblical texts in antiquity.


Associate professor of art history at The Catholic University of America pictured during interview in Washington

Nora Heimann, PhD

Dr. Nora Heimann serves as associate professor and Chair for the Art Department at the Catholic University of America.

After graduating from Harvard University Heimann went on to Williams College Graduate School where she received her Masters of Art History and City University of New York for a Doctorate.

Dr. Heimann is a specialist in European and American Modern and Contemporary art history, and the relationship between art, religion and national identity.  Her work experience includes curating exhibitions at the Corcoran Gallery of Art (DC), the Knights of Columbus Museum (New Haven), and the Chapin Rare Book Library (Williamstown); and working for curatorial and education departments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), the Museum of Modern Art (NYC), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), the Minneapolis Museum of Art, and the Städische Sammlung Schweinfurt (Germany).  

Most recently, she worked with CUA students to curate an exhibit for National Museum of Women in the Arts entitled “Picturing Mary: Woman, Mother, Idea.” This exhibit explored images of the Virgin Mary from Baroque and Renaissance artists.

 lorena-bradfordLorena Bradford, PhD

Lorena is an Art Historian at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She works with Nora Heimann to organize and lead a group of Light the World! participants around the Gallery in an interactive way.

After graduating with a BA in Art History from the University of Vermont, Lorena Bradford immediately went on to get a Masters and Doctorate in Art History from the University of Delaware.

Lorena has been working for the National Gallery of Art as an educator since 2008. And, in recent years, has served as the Manager of Accessible Programs at the Gallery of Art.

We got to go to the National Gallery and look at these Thomas Cole paintings called, The Voyage of Life and one of them in particular, where the man is about to plunge off the waterfall and his angel/ guide is nowhere in sight. It really spoke to me about how we have to have trust in God, even when we can’t see Him, He is always there.– Colette, Participant 2017