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Why Art Is Important to Religion

Oct 08, 1999 624 Words
"Why is Art Important to Religion"

Art is important to religion in many different ways. Perhaps none has analyzed how art and religion have influenced and affected each other through the ages. Pictures painted of past events that help to bring back the feeling and importance of the past have been forgotten by some. To the one's that haven't forgotten are able to see the event's as the bible says they happened. Not only can you see the events, but it also allows the younger students of the church to understand the events. The use of images of God became widespread after the second century. This religious art has defiantly been around for centuries and plays an important role to the history of religion as well as the future. Religious art helps people that are looking for security and hope. Today society is looking for peace and an anchor to hold onto. This religious art lifts the spirit and brings peace within through a beautiful way. It helps reassure people that there is a life after this one. One needs not fear the power of God but to understand his actions and the way one should live his or her life. Art through the ages has been a powerful voice for both secular and religious ideas, and the treasury of Christian art should not be relegated to museum viewing. The art should be displayed in the church were it is meant to be. Its richness can be brought to people in schools and adult study groups. This, in turn, can help to bring art up to the level, that the faith deserves. Churches should fill the walls with art to show what happened throughout the bible. Art creates connections and associations between what we see and what we sense happened. Both ritual and art challenge us to take us beyond the immediate, if they are to bring about true insight and transformation in our lives. When the religious art leaks out of the religious community and into the broader world of culture, it is one of the ways the meaning of the art can evolve. This is also an opportunity for the art to draw the world to religion. Moreover, artistic reinterpretation of sacred imagery can help keep religion honest. The church has always been enriched by the tension that comes with diversity in art. Art is communication and effective art communicates effectively to any group at any level. Religious scenes clarify a relationship with God and make their decisions easier to what is right and what is wrong. Art is an important element of spirituality that touches people profoundly. Christian art is popping up all over the country among the common people. More people are realizing it can lift the heart and mind to God. Art creates a holy space. Many look to the world around them for ideas and images; some look to myths, stories or events of the past; still others look within themselves to their inner thoughts and feelings, their imagination and their dreams. While the world can be a good place to look as well as the others, one can never go wrong looking to the bible and the art that was and is being created from it. As long as art stays in the church the word of God will be more understood and respected. The times of hardships represented in paintings or sculptures will remain in the memories of the ones who have seen them. Also the people will be lifted to closeness with God as well as themselves.

Tapia, Andres. Christianity Today 11/13/95 v39:n13. p64(2)

Unsworth, Tim. National Catholic Reporter 02/24/95 v31:n17. p13(1)

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