On the Strange Place of Religion in Contemporary Art

Front Cover
Psychology Press, 2004 - Art - 136 pages

Can contemporary art say anything about spirituality? John Updike calls modern art "a religion assembled from the fragments of our daily life," but does that mean that contemporary art is spiritual? What might it mean to say that the art you make expresses your spiritual belief?

On the Strange Place of Religion in Contemporary Art explores the curious disconnection between spirituality and current art. This book will enable you to walk into a museum and talk about the spirituality that is or is not visible in the art you see.

 

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Contents

The Words Religion and Art
1
A Very Brief History of Religion and Art
5
How Some Scholars Deal with the Question
21
Five Stories
29
Rehema
31
Brian
33
Ria
34
Joel
35
The Creation of New Faiths
51
Art that Is Critical of Religion
65
How Artists Try to Burn Away Religion
77
Unconscious Religion
95
Some Words to Describe Spiritual Art
105
Conclusions
115
Notes
117
Index
133

The End of Religious Art
39

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About the author (2004)

James Elkins is Professor of Art History, Theory and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Chair of Art History at University College, Cork, Ireland. Among his books are Pictures and Tears, Visual Studies: a Skeptical Introduction, What Painting Is, Stories of Art, and How to Use Your Eyes, all published by Routledge.

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