Chapter

Art in Christian Traditions

Frank Burch Brown

in Good Taste, Bad Taste, & Christian Taste

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780195158724
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849567 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195158724.003.0002
Art in Christian Traditions

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Not everyone who is perceived to be religious or follows a spiritual path is gifted with a keen taste for the arts, or chooses to practice this taste. The pursuit of true religion, however, because of popular imagination, is believed to entail the absence of or drawing away from artistic delights. Religious traditions assert that some aspects of the arts and particular styles of art can be edifying or useful, and that other forms of art may have corruptive implications. Religion, in this case, becomes selective about general and abstract art for a number of reasons: certain religions are grounded on cultures in which art is a very important element; the shared identity of a combination of varied kinds of art like choral singing, stained glass, painting, and other such forms cannot be perceived; and products of religious art may not be valued the same way when placed in a museum than when situated in religious venues such as churches and temples.

Keywords: spiritual path; artistic taste; true religion; religious traditions; Christianity; shared identity; abstract art

Chapter.  16398 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christian Theology

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