At the Crossroads of Art and Religion: Imagination, Commitment, Transcendenceby TH Zock
Since the 'turn to the subject' in modernity, aesthetic experiences have become crucial in the creation of meaning. This explains why art and religion are becoming increasingly intermingled in late modern Western culture. The search for meaning is no longer confined to traditional religious settings and it is especially in art that people are looking for moral and spiritual significance. Religion is being aestheticised while art is being spiritualised. This volume contains studies on the interface between art and religion. Scholars from art studies, theology, philosophy and psychology of religion address the following questions: What psychological and religious functions does art fulfil? What are the similarities and differences between aesthetic and religious experiences? How does the aestheticising of religion affect theological thinking? How does the spiritualising of art affect artistic practices and theory? Case studies are taken from literature, visual art, film and opera, both from 'high' and popular culture. Among others, there are chapters on J.M. Coetzee's novel Waiting for the Barbarians, Richard Wagner's operas, the Harry Potter books and the concept of beauty from a theological perspective. The contributors all highlight the crucial role of human imaginative capabilities and the capacity of art to open up wider horizons of meaning.
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