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

By Graham Howes

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

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

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4฀ This฀ hiving฀ off฀ of฀ religious฀ subject฀ matter฀ to฀ an฀ increasingly฀ specific฀ place฀ in฀ the฀ genre฀ was,฀ one฀ might฀ argue,฀ both฀ similar฀ to฀and฀part฀of฀a฀broader฀secularising฀process฀which฀was฀already฀ operating฀ to฀ relocate฀ worship,฀ theology,฀ even฀ belief฀ itself,฀ to฀ a฀ more฀ discrete฀ and฀ implicitly฀ marginal฀ place฀ in฀ Victorian฀ culture. ’8฀ Hedged฀ about฀ by฀ such฀ constraints,฀ it฀ is฀ unsurprising฀ therefore฀that฀Victorian฀paintings฀of฀religious฀themes,฀although฀ possessing,฀as฀we฀have฀seen,฀an฀explicit฀if฀diminishing฀role฀and฀ status,฀also฀had฀no฀really฀significant฀market.

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’.

In฀practice฀the฀transformation฀ of฀the฀genre฀took฀three฀distinct,฀if฀often฀interlocking,฀forms. ฀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.

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