Journal Article

Salvation, Redemption, and Community: Reflections on the Aesthetic Cosmos

Roger O'Toole

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 57, issue 2, pages 127-148
Published in print January 1996 | ISSN: 1069-4404
e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3711946
Salvation, Redemption, and Community: Reflections on the Aesthetic Cosmos

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This article suggests that enhanced understanding of religion may result from an incursion into the realm of aesthetics. Beginning with Weber's brief and fragmentary allusion to art as an alternative to religion, it pursues parallels between religious and artistic phenomena through an inspection of various commentaries on aesthetics. In the process, it indicates the functionally inclusive character of many conceptions of art. Discerning elements of Weber's view of aesthetics in the writings of Nietzche, it considers the destinies of both art and religion under conditions of disenchantment. Despite Weber's pessimism, it asserts that epitaphs to art are as dubious as obituaries to religion are premature. It concludes by recommending the collaboration of sociologists of religion in broad, interdisciplinary cultural analyses of the human imagination.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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