The Art of the Sacred. An Introduction to the Aesthetics of by Graham Howes

By Graham Howes

This publication explores the connection among faith and the visible arts--and vice versa--within Christianity and different significant non secular traditions. It identifies and describes the most ancient, theological, sociological and aesthetic dimensions of "religious" paintings, with specific awareness to "popular" in addition to "high" tradition, and inside of societies of the constructing international. It additionally makes an attempt to find, and are expecting, the varieties and features of such artwork in a altering modern context of legal responsibility, modernity, secularism and fundamentalism

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Extra info for The Art of the Sacred. An Introduction to the Aesthetics of Art and Belief

Example text

In฀this฀sense฀ the฀ locus฀ of฀ religiosity฀ seems฀ to฀ have฀ partly฀ shifted฀ from฀ the฀ credal฀and฀ritual฀to฀the฀physically฀symbolic฀mode.

Such฀religious฀art฀as฀this฀not฀only฀fused฀with฀ but฀reaffirmed฀secular฀bourgeois฀morality. ’17฀ This฀ conscious฀ dismantling฀ of฀ the฀ formal฀ barriers฀ between฀ the฀ sacred฀ and฀ the฀ secular฀ as฀ legitimate฀subject฀matter฀for฀a฀‘religious’฀painting฀–฀even฀if฀it฀was฀to฀ degenerate฀ultimately฀into฀artworks฀which฀did฀little฀more฀than฀ either฀portray฀a฀covertly฀religious฀theme฀in฀an฀overtly฀religious฀ setting฀ (‘Contemplation’฀ was฀ a฀ typical฀ title)฀ or฀ depict฀ religious฀ activity฀per฀se฀(‘Her฀First฀Sermon’฀or฀‘Late฀for฀Church’)฀while฀ making฀no฀credal฀statement฀whatever฀–฀was฀a฀clear฀indicator฀of฀ the฀relatively฀uncertain฀passage฀of฀the฀process฀of฀secularisation฀ already฀manifesting฀itself฀in฀this฀particular฀culture.

31฀ Even฀ today฀ Soviet฀ newspapers฀ and฀ television฀ news฀sometimes฀carry฀pictures฀of฀young฀conscripts฀en฀route฀for฀ Chechnya฀filing฀past,฀and฀kissing,฀a฀replica฀of฀the฀‘Vladimir’฀icon฀ proffered฀by฀an฀Orthodox฀priest. 32฀ four฀ dimensions Such฀ an฀ argument฀ may฀ provide฀ a฀ powerful฀ and฀ pessimistic฀ counterpoint฀ both฀ to฀ facile฀ aesthetic฀ progressivism฀ (not฀ unknown,฀for฀example,฀in฀some฀contemporary฀clerical฀circles)฀and฀ to฀ the฀ fashionable฀ Jungian฀ heresy฀ (held฀ by฀ some฀ theologians฀ and฀ artists฀ alike)฀ that฀ ‘the฀ archetypes฀ by฀ which฀ spiritual฀ realities฀ express฀ themselves฀ are฀ both฀ available฀ to฀ modern฀ man฀ and฀ constantly฀clothed฀in฀the฀forms฀of฀modern฀art’.

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