Document Type

Book Chapter

Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Van Gogh and God: A Creative Spiritual Quest

First Page


Last Page



From Van Gogh and God: A Creative Spiritual Quest by Cliff Edwards. Used by permission of the publisher Loyola University Press.

Date of Submission

August 2014


Preface and chapter one of Cliff Edward's book, Van Gogh and God.

From the preface: "My purpose in this book is to help us move in the direction that sensitive art critics have pointed out, to enter the territory that theologians have generally ignored: the creative spiritual quest of Vincent van Gogh that he expressed in both word and image. It is my conclusion, after several years of investigation, that an understanding of van Gogh from the perspective of his spiritual search is a key to the unity of the artist's life and work, casting new light on many of the mysteries and contradictions, and solving certain persistent van Gogh puzzles. Further, I hope that this work will make some contribution toward clarifying problems regarding van Gogh in the art-historical and art-critical areas. More important, I hope that this study will provide a new dimension of meaning and significance for those who view Van Gogh's paintings."


Copyright © Cliff Edwards

Recommended Citation

Edwards, Cliff. "A Pilgrim's Progress and Preface." In Van Gogh and God: A Creative Spiritual Quest. Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1989, Available from VCU Scholars Compass,