As visible religion, art communicates religious beliefs, customs, and values through iconography and depictions of the human body. The foundational principle for the interconnections between art and religion is the reciprocity between image making and meaning making as creative correspondence of humanity with divinity.
- 1 How does art contribute to spirituality?
- 2 How does art affect my spiritual life?
- 3 How can art contribute to the spiritual well being of human?
- 4 What is art in spiritually?
- 5 How are art and spirituality connected?
- 6 How does art influence or reflect religion?
- 7 What is religious function of art?
- 8 How does art improve your mental physical spiritual and social well being?
- 9 What is contemporary art in spirituality?
- 10 How the art is portrayed in our everyday life?
- 11 How art is used in Christianity?
- 12 How do arts communicate emotions?
- 13 Aesthetics –
- 14 Spirituality and Art
- 15 Finding God in art
- 16 RELIGION MAKES AN IMPACT AS A THEME IN TODAY’S ART (Published 1985)
- 17 Perspective of the influence of religion in art: Paintings that gave representation of biblical truth.
- 18 The Torch Magazine
- 19 On Contemporary Art and Spirituality
How does art contribute to spirituality?
By engaging works of art, we can experience a sense of comfort and peace, as well as feelings of unease and being challenged. Art invites us to an encounter, which is a gift—a spiritual gift that might bring us into a deeper relationship with God.
How does art affect my spiritual life?
Even though they don’t follow a set religion, non-religious people can still experience the spiritual side of art, music and literature. The arts may offer a chance to reflect, to feel uplifted and happy, and to bring something intellectually or spiritually nourishing into their lives.
How can art contribute to the spiritual well being of human?
The arts can help us express thoughts that are beyond words, helping people “reach into largely unconscious parts of the mind and experience dimensions of self otherwise buried and voiceless.” The arts are an incredibly useful tool for working through emotions and communicating them to others, a skill that’s useful in
What is art in spiritually?
Spirituality reigns supreme in art. Known as the driving force of art, spirituality is art’s expressive vehicle as well as a special voice. Human history of arts has never been devoid of spiritual content; artists studied the relationship between art and the spirit for decades.
How are art and spirituality connected?
The arts have always been integral to religion. The arts in traditional cultures transmit the central beliefs and values of those cultures, and those beliefs and values have a strong religious or spiritual dimension.
How does art influence or reflect religion?
As visible religion, art communicates religious beliefs, customs, and values through iconography and depictions of the human body. The foundational principle for the interconnections between art and religion is the reciprocity between image making and meaning making as creative correspondence of humanity with divinity.
What is religious function of art?
Religious art is artistic imagery using religious inspiration and motifs and is often intended to uplift the mind to the spiritual. Sacred art involves the ritual and cultic practices and practical and operative aspects of the path of the spiritual realization within the artist’s religious tradition.
As we’ve noted: engaging in arts, social activities and interaction within our communities can help with major challenges such as ageing and loneliness. It can help to boost confidence and make us feel more engaged and resilient. Besides these benefits, art engagement also alleviates anxiety, depression and stress.
What is contemporary art in spirituality?
In the 21st century, the concept of spirituality is becoming increasingly important to various cultural discourses, including that of contemporary artwork. Art that is described as spiritual may reference or represent a spiritual and/or religious tradition.
How the art is portrayed in our everyday life?
It makes the places we go and spend time in more interesting. Through art we can understand better our cultures, our history and traditions. In this sense it is communication; it allows people from different cultures and time to communicate through images, sounds, and stories that affect us all.
How art is used in Christianity?
Christianity and Christian Art Artists use their artworks to express their own faith or to describe Biblical events and views on Christianity. Often, their works are designed to have a special effect on the viewer. Some works of art are devotionals, designed to make the viewer think deeply about faith and beliefs.
How do arts communicate emotions?
One view of emotional expression in art is that it is preceded by a perturbation or excitement from a vague cause about which the artist is uncertain and therefore anxious. The artist then proceeds to express feelings and ideas in words or paint or stone or the like, clarifying them and achieving a release of tension.
|Is there a special relationship between art and spirituality? Thereare many reasons to think so; indeed, there seems to be a rich web ofrelationships between the two. The arts have always been integral toreligion. Sacred pictures, sacred symbols, sacred dances, chants, hymnsand tunes have been used in rituals, in places of worship, and as aidsto prayer and meditation in every religion. Judging by this alone, thearts seem to be natural vehicles for expressing or connecting with thetranscendent. The great art of the medieval Christian west is religiousart, as is that of theOrthodoxChristian east. For Hinduism and Buddhism it is the same.Even religions like Judaism and Islam, which consider images of God idolatrous, use decorative designs to embellish places of worship and sacred texts. Outside of formal religious contexts, religion has traditionally been as integral to the arts as to the rest of culture. The arts in traditional cultures transmit the central beliefs and values of those cultures, and those beliefs and values have a strong religious or spiritual dimension.But what of the arts in the modern, secular west? Have they also becomesecular? It is true that the vital center of the arts has moved awayfrom institutional religion: it is hard to find great or even good mainstreamreligious art in the modern and post-modern west. Yet the connectionbetween art and spirituality has remained. This was especially truefor the pioneers of modern abstract art at the beginning of the twentiethcentury.Spirituality and thePioneers of Modern ArtThe beginnings of modern art, especially abstract art,have strong spiritual roots. This fact is not always obvious from textbookdiscussions of the work, which are more likely to focus on the manyformal innovations of twentieth century art.While these formalistic accounts are valid so far as theygo, they omit what may have been the most central motivation of thepioneers of modern art. Kandinsky, Mondrian, Arp, Duchamps, Malevich,Newman, Pollack, Rothko and most of the other giants of early and mid-twentiethcentury painting shared common spiritual roots. For many of these menand women, art was primarily about spirituality, and was perhaps themost appropriate vehicle for expressing and developing the spiritualitythat the new century called for. Kandinsky expresses this convictionin his 1912 publication “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”;Mondrian mentions it in many of his writings; and so do many other painters,poets, musicians and dancers. Here is Kandinsky, in a selection fromhis influential 1912 bookletConcerning the Spiritual in Art:When religion, science and moralityare shaken (the last by the strong hand of Nietzche) and when outersupports threaten to fall, man withdraws his gaze from externals andturns it inwards. Literature, music and art are the most sensitive spheresin which this spiritual revolution makes itself felt. They reflect thedark picture of the present time and show the importance of what wasat first only a little point of light noticed by the few. Perhaps theyeven grow dark in their turn, but they turn away from the soulless lifeof the present toward those substances and ideas that give free scopeto the non-material strivings of the soul. (Concerning the Spiritualin Art,p. 33)Whether they saw their quest as primarily personal, orwhether (like Kandinsky) they saw the artist as a kind of prophet inthe vanguard of humankind’s spiritual development, many of the greatartists of the twentieth century saw their art in spiritual terms. Formany of them also, the spirituality expressed in their work derivesfrom eastern sources. Hindu and Buddhist ideas and practices had a stronginfluence on these artists, in some cases directly, in many others throughthe influence of Helena Blavatsky, Rudolph Steiner, and the TheosophicalSociety. Mondrian was a member of this society, and Kandinsky writesapprovingly of it. The goal of these and other artists was to developan art which expressed a reality beyond the material, a consciousnesslike that of a meditative state in which ordinary reality is transcended.Knowing this purpose casts a different light on the blank or monochromecanvases, the empty spaces, and the simple geometrical or biomorphicshapes of many abstract works. They might best be seen as meditativeaids meant to reveal the transcendent or provoke a transcending consciousness.(In fact some of them strongly resemble asian works produced for exactlythat purpose.) The same is true for work like that of Jackson Pollack,strongly influenced by Native American spirituality, whose drip paintingsare meditative healing exercises like those of Indian shamans and Navahosand painters (seeThe Spiritual in Art: Abstract painting 1890 -1985,pp. 281 – 293 for these connections).Some Readings on Spirituality and Art:The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985(NY, London, Paris: Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Abbeville Press,1986). The catalog for an exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museumof Art, also shown at the Chicago Museum of Modern Art and the HaagsGemeentemuseum in the Hague during 1986 and 1987. The lavishly illustratedexhibition catalog is still in print; it includes seventeen extensiveessays by various scholars which trace the spiritual interests and motivationsof abstract painters during this period. A wonderfully rich source forthis topic.Kandinsky, Wassily:Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1912) Influential early essay by one of the founders of modern abstractart. Kandinsky sees human consciousness and spirituality as evolving,and the artist as the leading prophetic voice at the forfront of thisdevelopment. The work includes a detailed explanation of the symbolicweight and significance of various colors and shapes.Lipsey, Roger:An Art of Our Own: The Spiritual inTwentieth Century Art (2nd edition)(Jan 1997, Shambala Publications).A careful tracing of the history of twentieth century art from the perspctiveof its spiritual motivations.|
Spirituality and Art
The most important reason why artists produce, and the reason that the rest of us appreciate their work, is because art serves as a priceless living bridge between the psychology of our everyday lives and the universal spirit of mankind. There must be a clear line between art and commodities, and it is essential to highlight the wisdom of avoiding materialism contamination of real art. True art, in this context, refers to artistic creations that are inspired by spiritual principles and qualities like as beauty, creativity, honesty, generosity, discernment, patience, and persistence, among others.
In an October 1958 letter to Boris Pasternak, the 20th-century monk and spiritual writer Thomas Merton (whose parents were both artists, and who was himself a notable poet, calligrapher, and photographer) wrote: “I do not insist on this division between spirituality and art, for I believe that even things that are not patently spiritual if they come from the heart of a spiritual person are spiritual.” What it comes down to is this: art is created from the heart and, as a result, appeals to the heart; nevertheless, this requires something of the witness as well, namely, a certain level of emotional and spiritual sensitivity in order to accept the generous gift of the artist.
- I recall standing riveted in front of a self-portrait of an older Rembrandt in an exhibition in London a few years ago.
- I was aware that people were coming and leaving around me, but I was in a kind of timeless personal bubble, full with amazement and wonder, as if time had stopped.
- For the whole course of the work, I was enthralled, pleased, and awed, and I did not want it to come to an end.
- For this reason, I would characterize them as spiritual encounters since they were in some little way transformational.
- I felt more linked to the totality of mankind and the cosmos as a result of the work and the artist, and I felt more connected to myself.
When it comes to spiritual practices, there is a chapter on “Spiritual Practices” in my bookThe Psychology of Spirituality that discusses activities that people can engage in on a regular basis, depending on their preferences, to help them progress along the path of spiritual growth and development towards maturity.
Reading literature, poetry, and other forms of meditative literature, as well as listening to, singing, and performing holy music, are also included.
In my opinion, sacred music does not necessarily have to be religious, although it may be; instead, I would include any music that has the ability to release something profoundly emotional—some sadness, perhaps, or great joy—that has been imprisoned by excessive attention to worldly concerns and the busy pursuit of secular activities up until that point.
Rhythmical and repetitive dance ( Furthermore, when individuals get together to participate in such activities, such as playing in an orchestra or singing in a chorus, they may well feel an increase in the potential for spiritual growth as a result of the sharing of their experiences.
“In the words of Thomas Merton, “We are already one,” yet we pretend to be something we are not. And what we need to reclaim is our original sense of belonging. That which we have to be is that which we are.” Art can assist us in doing this. Larry Culliford is the author of this work.
Finding God in art
Finding God in the midst of all. It seems me that this well-known Ignatian statement is particularly appropriate when contemplating the link between art and spirituality. It highlights our yearning for connection—not simply a desire to locate God, but also a want to be open to the possibility that our experience with God will take place in unexpected places. This Ignatian statement communicates the necessity of being attentive to the present moment by seeking better knowledge of how God is present to us while embracing the arts as a method of relationship with the Divine.
- And it is via this process that we may integrate art into our spiritual life.
- Consider: what would Christianity be like if the Sistine Chapel paintings and Eastern Orthodox icons had not been created by Michelangelo and preserved for us?
- These works, as well, may still be able to give us with the necessary insight into our spiritual existence.
- A gift, art draws us to an experience with God, and this encounter is a gift in and of itself—a spiritual gift that may lead us to a closer connection with God.
- As we prayfully engage with works of art, it is crucial to be conscious of our level of openness to the work of art in its own right, as well as how the work of art awakens certain feelings, wants, and internal movements in ourselves.
- — Brother Lee Colombino, S.J., of the Society of Jesus In addition to the notion of finding God in all things, another key element in Ignatian spirituality is creative prayer, which involves the use of our five senses to pray.
- This raises a slew of questions, including: I’m not sure who I am in this scene—a disciple, perhaps?
What is the flavor of the wine?
What is the tone of the voice that is being used?
It is also important to be conscious of our internal motions while praying imaginatively, as this is an important component of the prayer experience.
This form of creative prayer, along with an awareness of our inner motions, may yield a great deal of fruit in terms of better understanding our connection with God, ourselves, and others.
Consider the experience of standing in front of a Jackson Pollock artwork.
You may realize that you are becoming nervous as a result of the seeming disarray on the canvas while you are activating your senses—what do you want to do about it?
In the midst of all of this commotion, do you allow yourself to be challenged by your feelings of anxiousness?
Do you resort to prayer during these kind of situations?
Perhaps, if I spend enough time with this picture, the worry I’m experiencing will gradually give way to a calm and peaceful spirit, something that has surprised me as a result of my meeting with Pollock’s art.
Please pray for the grace to perceive and hear the stirrings of God’s Spirit that occur throughout these meetings, so that we might react in love.
At Loyola University Chicago’s Institute of Pastoral Studies, Brother Lee S. Colombino, S.J., is now studying spirituality and spiritual direction. He is a member of the Society of Jesus.
RELIGION MAKES AN IMPACT AS A THEME IN TODAY’S ART (Published 1985)
The New York Times Archives is credited with this image. See the article in its original context from April 7, 1985, Section 2, Page 1 of the New York Times Magazine. Purchase Reprints It is only available to home delivery and digital customers who have access to the TimesMachine. Concerning the Archive This is a scanned version of a story from The Times’s print archive, which was published before the publication of the newspaper’s online edition in 1996. The Times does not modify, edit, or update these stories in order to preserve the integrity of the original publication.
ASK Thomas Lanigan Schmidt why he creates religious tableaux and ceremonial objects out of tinfoil and Baggies and Magic Marker, and he will tell you that he wants to “transfigure the garbage; give a sense of desperate worthlessness while simultaneously making itself not worthless.” “I want to make the garbage not worthless,” Schmidt says.
Signs and symbols from Christianity or Judaism may also be seen in the work of other artists from the 1980s, despite the fact that their overall approach is not religious in nature.
The artist Robert Longo used the cross symbol in his current exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, which speaks of the importance of human values.
In addition, other exhibitions devoted to religious themes have been held in recent years, including one at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“Jewish Themes/Contemporary American Artists” was a display at the Jewish Museum in New York City that took place two years later and featured work that dealt with “Jewish subject matter.” Last year, at the Museo del Barrio in San Francisco, Antonio Miralda presented “Santa Comida,” a presentation of food offerings in devotion to African saints, which contrasted their images with those of Western divinities seen in Renaissance art.
- In smaller galleries, works such as “Cruciform” at the Barbara Gladstone Gallery in 1982, and “Saints” at the Harm Bouckaert Gallery in 1983 have been shown, among others.
- The years during which Western art was under the patronage of the church are replete with renowned names, such as Piero della Francesca, Michelangelo, and Caravaggio, but by the end of the 18th century, religion had begun to fade as a factor in artistic production.
- True, several contemporary masters, most notably Chagall, Rouault, and Matisse, have created works of art that contain religious undertones in them.
- The abstract painter Barnett Newman even created a series of paintings named “Stations of the Cross,” and a collection of Mark Rothko’s numinous late works is currently housed in the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.
- Peter’s Church in New York, and George Segal’s figurative sculpture “Abraham and Isaac,” which was originally created to commemorate the students killed in the 1970 uprising at Kent State University, among others.
- Religious art is also among the most controversial works on display at the “Precious” exhibition, which is a huge, rather shapeless presentation devoted to extremely individualistic, “personal” artwork created by younger artists.
- If affirmation is present, sarcasm, ambiguity, and playfulness are also present.
- The majority of those who took part in “Precious,” if they are not believers now, have had a strong religious upbringing.
- In addition, he created shrines and icons in the style of the tiny, ethnic churches that he visited on a daily basis in his hometown of Linden, New Jersey.
The artist’s contributions to the show include an eye-catching display of “Eastern Orthodox Communion Vessels,” which includes chalices, Bibles, altarcloth, and other items made of foil, duct tape, Saran wrap, rhinestones, and staples, among other materials, that demonstrates his appreciation for the rich visual imagery of the mass in its un-Americanized form.
- Its center picture is a crucified Christ, which was adapted from a painting by Michelangelo and is flanked by two sad clowns.
- Kellard describes his work as “art that is about art,” and claims that it is his “responsibility” to create his work as “unintimidating as possible,” and to give tales that come from our most fundamental need.
- As well as being cultural, they have something to do with hanging a clown as art in the same culture that would hang a crucifix in their home for religious reasons would also hang a clown as art.
- Martin de Porres (1579-1639), which is neo-Expressionist in style but heavily influenced by Quattrocento art, is one of about 30 paintings the artist has done on the topic of the saint.
While attending school in Nicaragua and Mexico, Slonem, an American of Jewish descent but a person with “no religious background,” became acquainted with “Latin mysticism.” His artwork, vulgar and feisty in its raw, upfront approach, offers an enthrallingly naïve image of humbleness-turned-to-splendor that engages the viewer’s imagination.
When Wehrli depicts a dog dressed in the armor of St.
Wehrli, who describes herself as “not religious,” despite having been reared as a fervent Episcopalian, claims that iconoclasm is not her intention.
“Why can’t God be a dog, or an animal?” she asks in her essay, challenging the conventional wisdom that “God is a man.” “It is possible that animal innocence is more in tune with God than the materialism and greed of contemporary man.” In any case, once the initial shock of the work has worn off, the work is strangely moving.
As a boy, he was exposed to ecclesiastical sculpture and the deeply religious work of the painter Georges Rouault, and he grew up with the conviction that “art had to deal strongly with the religious aspects of life.” “Fiat Voluntas Tua” (Thy Will Be Done) is inscribed on a flat tablet inscribed with a cross and the Latin words, “Fiat Voluntas Tua” (Thy Will Be Done), which makes the dog symbolic of its human master’s ability to reward or punish.
In the “Precious” show, his sculptural work is an emblematic but life-size dog carrying a cross – instead of a newspaper MacLeod believes that by taking the cross from its typical location and placing it in the maw of a beast, he is jarring the viewer out of the complacency with which religious art is generally regarded.
- For example, in one especially arresting piece, entitled “Bathroom Sink,” an image of Christ and the Virgin taken from the painting “La Pieta” by Bellini is placed over a water-filled sink with a razor and a pair of scissors resting on its edge.
- The reason I paint bathrooms is that they are a private space where you may confront yourself, assess your situation, and make adjustments.
- The work is not ironic in that it is motivated by Benes’s desire to “confront” his own concerns about money and death.
- It is a humorous contribution to the show.
- The new “religious” art has a conservative resemblance to earlier art forms and conventions with other post-Modernist art, as does other post-Modernist art.
While it may not directly challenge the spiritual values of our time, its practitioners are representative of a more personal, let-it-all-hang-out approach to art that unapologetically includes religious belief as one of its aspirations.
Perspective of the influence of religion in art: Paintings that gave representation of biblical truth.
This user gallery has been developed by an independent third party and may not reflect the opinions of the institutions whose collections comprise the featured works or of Google ArtsCulture.
Please note that this gallery does not represent the views of Google ArtsCulture.
As I investigate the High Renaissance, I’m struck by how prevalent it was for people to incorporate religion, let alone Christianity, into their works of art. In today’s world, there is a tendency to exalt anything and everything that is contrary to what Christ taught. It is quite great to be able to conduct study on a generation that was completely dedicated to the advancement of the gospel. I have paintings by three separate artists: Leonardo de Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael, which are on display in my gallery.
- Fleming is an American chemist.
- Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo da Vinci’s Verrocchio, 1470-1475, from the collection of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
- The account of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist is shown in the painting.
- As recorded in the scriptures, the heavens were opened, and the spirit of God fell upon him in the form of a dove.
- My favorite painting has always been this one, and it will remain so.
- What is shown in this picture is a sense of solidarity and connection with one’s fellow brothers.
- This work by Leonardo da Vinci was painted in Milan in the late 15th century.
Although not much is known about this piece of art, it was painted by Leonardo da Vinci in 1493 and is considered to be his best work.
Of course, it wasn’t until more than 450 years later that this was discovered.
Anthony is one of Michelangelo’s earliest known works and is considered to be his masterpiece.
Martin Schongauer was the artist that provided Michelangelo with the idea for this painting.
Artwork that was purchased for $2 million dollars in 2008 and donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
1530, Michelangelo Buonarroti, c.
This image of Christ in Lamentation, also known as (The Lamentation of Christ), shows him reclining on Madonna’s lap, beseeching her to help him.
This picture is also known as the Warwick Pieta after its previous owner.
Pietà, c.1530-1536, Michelangelo Buonarroti, c.
Michelangelo actually carved a genuine statue out of a slab of marble of this identical image.
This sculpture was built for Cardinal Jean de Bilheres’s Funeral monument, but was afterwards relocated to basilica in the 18th century.
When it was made it was in the Santa Maria del Popolo church in rome.
The pope himself commissioned this painting as well as the Madonna of Loreto.
But, an enormous amount of focus went into this painting as well as the psychological context behind it.
It was in God’s plan for Mary to give birth to Jesus Christ through a virgin birth.
Mary’s posture suggests that she is protecting herself as if she’s afraid.
Which is why I love this painting.
They traveled miles to worship the new born child.
They worship jesus in this painting because he was to become king of this earth.
Please note that this gallery does not represent the views of Google ArtsCulture.
The Torch Magazine
Claudia Martin’s work, The Intimate Relationship Between Art and Religion, explores the intimate relationship between art and religion. What do art and religion have in common, you might wonder. Each of them is a creation of the singular human mind, a mind that can use the power of imagination to conjure up a past and a future, a mind that is capable of conjuring up multiple fantasy realities to supplement factual reality when the latter is unable to be comprehended or explained in its entirety.
- In our emotional brain centers, we find the origins of our value systems; both art and religion are intimately connected to the emotional centers of the human brain stem in their drive to discover and articulate emotionally satisfying answers for human existence in this world.
- They offer human existence a sense of meaning and beauty that goes beyond just survival.
- The aims of human art and religion extend far beyond the immediate survival of the individual.
- They might provide the consolation of perceived certainty and order in an environment that is otherwise chaotic and uncertain.
- The hieroglyphic term for “art” in the ancient Egyptian language also functioned as the word for “religion,” combining the two concepts into a single, indivisible idea.
- Religious art, which includes everything from the rocks of Easter Island and Stonehenge to pyramids, temples, and cathedrals, is mankind’s holy legacy, bearing witness to our shared humanity.
- Art, by the use of human ideas and hands, generates verifiable realities that exist outside of the creations of the rest of nature.
It does exist in both place and time, whether in the form of permanent artifacts such as paintings, sculptures, architecture, and printed texts, or in the form of transient events such as music, dance, theater, storytelling, and religious rites.
Individual imagination and cultural traditions behave in a similar way to a light beam that gets bent as it enters a new medium, such as water.
All humans can be touched by art because it depicts filtered and condensed humanity in a way that everyone can understand.
Religions make an attempt to comprehend the nature of the cosmos and its energies.
Belief begins when knowledge stops and knowledge ceases.
They appear to be trailing behind, bound by unalterable dogmas, scriptures, and traditions; for example, it took until 1860 for the Catholic Church to publicly admit that the planets rotate around the sun.
Religion is also an attempt to use supernatural ways to influence and affect the course of natural events in our favor.
As early as the Stone Age, a caste system of priests and priestesses, shamans, holy seers, and medicine men emerged, each of whom was physically sustained by the labor of others.
They were tasked with communicating with the forces of nature and “spirits,” who appeared to them in the form of customized animal- and human-like gods and goddesses, respectively.
They gained power as a result of their knowledge.
The following are, in my opinion, the three most important purposes of the human phenomena known as religion:
- In the form of heavenly commands, the formation and enforcement of standards for social behavior are carried out. Through the work of religious leaders and organisations, such as monastic orders, an endeavor is being made to enhance and maintain factual knowledge and abilities. An effort to provide scientifically unanswerable problems with supernatural solutions that are the result of human imagination and inspiration in order to answer issues that are, at the moment, empirically unanswerable A survival tactic, instilling the psychological comfort that believing may bring is an illogical means to a rational aim, and it is not to be taken lightly. The awareness and dread of individual mortality, as well as the desire to live, may be the most powerful motivators for people to look to supernatural promises for comfort and assurance.
In many respects, religions have retreated from their traditional mission of seeking truth about the natural world and the wellbeing of humans. Modern science, which relies on the scientific method of repeatable tests rather than revelations and is unbound by ancient myths and dogmas, is capable of accomplishing this considerably more effectively. When it comes to understanding human fallibility, the discoveries of neurobiology and genetics are frequently more helpful than the ancient theological idea of original sin.
Science, in contrast to many faiths, is also prepared to revise incorrect notions in the light of fresh facts, which is not always the case.
In the same way that science has made dramatically greater advances in medicine than religion has, secular laws in democratic societies often do a better job of amending rules for social living when changing circumstances necessitate it, responding to new realities with far greater flexibility than religion.
- Religion’s claims to authority, on the other hand, are not wholly dismissible in this context.
- Art and Religion at the Intersections of Their Worlds Take, for example, the diverse roles that the arts have had in the history of world faiths.
- Oral and written stories have formed the foundation of religious beliefs for thousands of years, and they continue to be so today.
- A significant deal of lyrical beauty and metaphorical insight may be found in the stories.
- The “word” is frequently used in ways that go beyond its strict definition.
- In the same way that Sanskrit, the language of holy Hindu books, was no longer spoken by the common populace, the Latin used in Catholic churches evolved into a language of academics and sacred mystery, which was expressed in rites and music.
- The Russian Orthodox Church continues to employ an ancient Slavonic language for its chants and hymns, resulting in a beauty that can be appreciated even by those who are not familiar with the meaning of the words.
An extension of storytelling may be found in the visual arts, such as murals, mosaics, paintings and sculptures, among other things.
Consider the evolution of Buddha’s representation throughout history.
Buddhism evolved into paintings and sculptures of an all-encompassing and loving Buddha, shown either seated in the lotus position or standing or laying on his deathbed as a result of the believers’ yearning to see a human figure in Buddhist art.
He had been elevated to the status of a divinity.
Consider the established picture of Jesus in Christian churches, which serves as a contrast.
Smith is a tall, slim Caucasian male with a long, narrow face and narrow nose.
The image of Jesus will be seen by Christians in their deathbed hallucinations, whereas the image of a Buddha will be seen by Buddhists.
Some faiths, such as Hinduism, portray its gods and goddesses as beings with superhuman abilities.
But Hinduism also reveals an in-depth subconscious knowledge of our genetic animal heritage through its gods who are half-animal, half-human: Shiva, who has many arms, and Krishna, who is painted blue, in contrast to human skin color.
Africans and Native Americans wear masks that are meticulously fashioned in the shape of animals, creatures that may be both prey and predator.
Cybele, the fertility goddess of the Middle East, had eight breasts, according to legend.
Christian churches are adorned with human figures, with just a few exceptions, such as animals.
The devil’s form is characterized by hooves, horns, and a tail.
Angels, human figures with various types of wings, and other positive animal-human beings are the only positive animal-human animals.
Unless religious art, particularly funerary art, been preserved, we would have a far worse understanding of life in the ancient world.
A common feature of tombs is the inclusion of articles and depictions of everyday human lives, which are intended to assist the departed in an imagined afterlife.
Tombs were the first and most important structures in religious architecture since they were built to survive a long time.
These buildings are artistic testaments to the great life energy that exists in all things, which in humans manifests itself in ideas of a life beyond death that are sometimes kind and sometimes scary in their depiction of it.
Sacred structures serve a practical purpose in that they serve as an inspiring meeting place for worshippers and a place of residence for priests and monks.
A free flow of artistic imagination is possible there, since religious structures rise upward into space, becoming closer to the gods and becoming the pride and triumph of people who themselves frequently dwell in hovels on the bottom floor.
For example, the entire world contributed money to the re-creation of the grand cathedral of Moscow, which Stalin had destroyed in order to make way for a swimming pool in the Soviet Union.
When the Aswan Dam was built, the Egyptian temples of Abul Simbel were relocated as a result of international cooperation when they were threatened with flooding.
When a reform movement driven by extremists strives to destroy anything visually beautiful from a religion, iconoclasm, a destructive hate of sacred art, has erupted, it has occurred often throughout history.
Calvin personally destroyed stained glass windows and hacked away at organs, even in Switzerland, which is considered to be a cultured country.
The emotional manifestation of religion, on the other hand, managed to sneak through the Puritan walls thanks to the medium of music.
It culminated in cantatas and oratorios by famous composers, which once again told stories via music, but this time through the medium of music.
Most faiths make use of the human voice, musical instruments, and some form of rhythmic dancing to communicate their messages.
With the rhythmic aspects of music, the human body’s physical movement is intertwined with the musical rhythms.
Even the Shakers, a religious community in the United States that attempted to eliminate all sensuality, found their emotional religious expression in physical shaking.
As a result of this practice, the Dervishes have evolved an art form in which they twirl solo or in groups, their enormous white skirts theatrically flaring in time as they whirl.
According to the predictions of the future, the role of religion in human existence will continue to be significant in terms of fulfilling our emotional, sensory, and spiritual yearnings for wonder and beauty, as expressed via many forms of artistic expression.
Although scientific truths have mostly superseded many obsolete religious traditions, religious art may continue to enrich human lives by creating an emotional connection with the viewer.
Brooks, David, and others, for more reading The Social Animal: The Untapped Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement.
Random House Publishing Group, New York, 2011.
Viking Publishing Company, New York, 2006.
As told by our genetic code, the violinist’s thumb: and other lost tales of love, war, and genius are included in this book.
‘Consilience and the Unity of Knowledge’ by E.
Claudia Martin’s Biographical Information Claudia Martin grew up in the German city of Munich.
At the Munich Conservatory, she also pursued studies in piano and voice.
Her professional life has revolved on the study of languages and the performance of music.
She also taught creative writing workshops to aspiring writers.
Throughout her adult life, Claudia has served as a choir director and music director at Unitarian churches in Richmond and the Shenandoah Valley, as well as a member of many community choruses.
The couple have three daughters, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
They have been married for 64 years. They presently reside in Winchester, Virginia, where Claudia is involved in musical groups as well as writing for various publications. Originally, the paper was delivered to the Winchester Torch Club, but it has since been returned.
On Contemporary Art and Spirituality
Richard Bright (Richard Bright): Can you tell us a little bit about your background to get things started? Rina Arya: I’d want to thank you for your time. Art history and religion are two of my academic specializations. For a lot of years, I wrote about the artist Francis Bacon, who lived in the twentieth century. I was particularly taken by the way he employed Christian imagery in his work to achieve non-religious goals, despite the fact that the interpretation of this imagery can be quite religious.
- Rather than religious art that is religious in the usual sense of having religious content, I was interested in art that produced sentiments that could be regarded as spiritual in the sense that they stimulated thought on the most profound problems of life.
- In my research, I’ve looked into what this means in the context of art and how it may be expressed.
- What do you mean by the term’spirituality’ in regard to art and how do you describe it?
- It entails approaching life (both one’s own and that of others) from a holistic perspective, with an awareness of what may lie beyond the here and now, beyond the material circumstances of existence.
Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, there has been a movement toward a more expansive sense of spirituality that goes beyond the quest to fulfill or orient oneself to using it as the foundation for policy formation in fields such as social work, education, health, psychotherapy, and even business.
- Nonetheless, despite the loss of organized religion in Western Europe, there has been an increase in interest in spirituality in other sectors of cultural life, particularly in the arts and literature.
- The obsession with the fundamental problems of life has always been central to the function of the artist, who uses his or her work to highlight situations that are generally kept concealed from the public view and to challenge entrenched ideas.
- In this case, the viewer is transported to a different realm of the imaginary by the artist-as-shaman.
- Art may be a spiritual experience when one engages with it.
- The spirituality that is triggered may be specific to a religious tradition or it may be more general in nature.
- RB: Do you have a strategy in mind?
- The difficulty is that the phrase is frequently used too loosely, as if it were to apply to anything of significance.
Artists and viewers are not always responsible for fleshing out the meaning of spirituality, but in order for the spiritual to have currency, its meaning must be filled out.
I believe that the theme of spirituality will always be relevant to human beings, and that it will also continue to be significant in the framework of art for the foreseeable future.
RB: Can you describe the nature of the conversation between modern art and spirituality, as well as the process by which the two are brought together?
The word “contemporary art” may be broken down into two parts: classic modern art forms such as painting and sculpture, and newer forms such as installation art, “new media art” (technology and digital art forms from the 1980s onward), performance art, and multimedia forms.
There are a plethora of alternatives available to artists now as a result of less prescriptions or expectations regarding the shapes that spiritual art should take in today’s society.
Artists now have the freedom to blend genres, materials, and forms, as well as to depict a diverse variety of global themes, some of which are closely related to contemporary societal challenges, while others are more universal and timeless in their representation.
In the expression of their ideas, some artists explicitly incorporate ideas and symbols from religious or mythological traditions; others take a more ‘pick-and-mix’ approach to spirituality, incorporating elements from a variety of traditions, including their own personal beliefs, to create a cohesive whole.
RB: What kind of shape does it take?
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