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Church-mandated art
08-15-2009, 11:43 PM
Post: #1
Church-mandated art
So, I actually attended Bob Jones University (pity me). While the experience was, by and large, one of the best arguments for atheism possible, BJU does have one of the most spectacular collections of religious art in North America, if not the world. And why is there so much religious art?

It was church-mandated. Indeed, there's one guy (I can't recall his name for the life of me, but I love his paintings,) who does landscapes. That's what he wanted to do, was landscapes. But he could not paint a landscape, because somehow that whole "no graven images" commandment got twisted around to "you shall only make graven images." So he'd put a little tiny baptism in the corner, and then paint the huge landscape.

Now, at least in this case the church cannot be accused of stunting the growth of art, since church patronage actually improved the condition of art throughout the ages and was a driving force of the Renaissance, but still, that's always bothered me. How exactly do we get from "no graven images" to a period in history where literally all art in Europe had to be religious?

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08-16-2009, 12:14 AM
Post: #2
RE: Church-mandated art
What exactly bothers you? It makes for awesome art; it was a learning tool for the illiterate; and religious art was paid for by religious people. Seems fairly natural to me.

If you should see evident sins or defects, draw out of those thorns the rose; perceiving, moreover, that such apparent sinners may frequently have a good intention, for no one can judge the secrets of the heart of man.
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08-16-2009, 07:57 AM (This post was last modified: 08-16-2009 07:57 AM by Raphael.)
Post: #3
RE: Church-mandated art
(08-15-2009 11:43 PM)GTseng3 Wrote:  And why is there so much religious art?

ah
the answer is always in the question, my SUN.

it embodies the language of 'archetype'. Wink
>>was Michelangelo 'connected' to the 'creation'?

[Image: hands-of-god-and-adam-from-the-sistine-c...300707.jpg]
[Image: sImage147.jpg]

here is a site that discusses art and religion and the RIGHT HAND vs. LEFT HAND.
>>it mentions the RIGHT of God and the LEFT Hand of Christ.
http://douglaswilkieart.blogspot.com/200...ous-4.html

WOW the right hand (tribe of Benjamin) and god association I was familiar with.
jesus christ I didn't know that about the poster boy superstar, he was directly associated with the LEFT HAND?
Is that true blue?

It fits my RIGHT/LEFT asymmetry theory nicely.
http://kachina2012.wordpress.com/categor...hand-path/
Doesn't it GT?

Mooving right along...please keep to the left fella when mooving down the chute... Tongue

Hmm, ever wonder GT why the cow (ox=aleph/alpha/fehu) jumped over the Moo-N?

I consider this my inspired archetypal art that somebody writing a biblical narrative might take notice.
MooN
What add the N?
My chosen art that attempts to reconcile religion and science has an answer.

namaste

NATURE cannot be HIDDEN only VEILeD with NARRATIVES that defy NATURE

CodeX4 and the Reconciliation of Science and Religion
http://kachina2012.wordpress.com/about/
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08-16-2009, 11:04 AM
Post: #4
RE: Church-mandated art
(08-16-2009 12:14 AM)Annolennar Wrote:  What exactly bothers you? It makes for awesome art; it was a learning tool for the illiterate; and religious art was paid for by religious people. Seems fairly natural to me.

It really doesn't so much. I mean, a case could be made for all the secular art that we have missed because of this, but not a strong case. No one can deny that art was one of the things that church supremacy did not diminish.

I was mostly interested in exactly how it happened, though. I know the Hebrews tended not to make statues or likenesses. I was under the impression the early christians felt the same way. I'm guessing it had something to do with the roman influence, but I'm not sure and I was curious how christendom got from "graven images are bad," to accepting art, and finally to demanding that art only be religious in nature.

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08-16-2009, 08:59 PM
Post: #5
RE: Church-mandated art
Well, I recently saw an exhibit on early Christian art at a museum (by early I mean first two centuries), so I don't think Christianity ever had anything against it, but by the medieval period Christendom had certainly adopted many of the classical Greco-Roman artistic traits. "Graven images" by the Christian period didn't imply a connection between all art and paganism.

But I don't think there's a real underlying reason for why so much art was religious in nature, beyond the Church's prominent role. In cases such as the example above, I think its simply a matter of what people were willing to pay for, and for a long time, most people were interested in religious art, so you didn't see as much non-religious art.

If you should see evident sins or defects, draw out of those thorns the rose; perceiving, moreover, that such apparent sinners may frequently have a good intention, for no one can judge the secrets of the heart of man.
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08-17-2009, 09:26 AM
Post: #6
RE: Church-mandated art
great artists are connected
great artists are 'receivers' who ply a trade

so clearly, for the church to own/control this art, would be part and parcel to controlling the archetypal messages....

our father who ART in heaven... Praise

namaste

NATURE cannot be HIDDEN only VEILeD with NARRATIVES that defy NATURE

CodeX4 and the Reconciliation of Science and Religion
http://kachina2012.wordpress.com/about/
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08-17-2009, 02:34 PM
Post: #7
RE: Church-mandated art
(08-16-2009 11:04 AM)GTseng3 Wrote:  I was mostly interested in exactly how it happened, though. I know the Hebrews tended not to make statues or likenesses. I was under the impression the early christians felt the same way. I'm guessing it had something to do with the roman influence, but I'm not sure and I was curious how christendom got from "graven images are bad," to accepting art, and finally to demanding that art only be religious in nature.

The prohibition against graven images in the Abrahamic religions stems from Exodus.

Quote:1 And God spake all these words, saying,
2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?sea...version=9;

While it is clear that the overall intent is a commandment not to worship other gods, v. 4 taken by itself can be interpreted as a complete prohibition against the use of representational art. But the repeated reference to ‘other gods’ etc. as the purpose of the prohibition gives a lot of wiggle room in interpretation.

Art captures the imagination. For religion to not utilize art removes a powerful tool from its inventory. It is therefore in the interest of religion to embrace the overall intent of Exodus 20:1-5 rather than the literal interpretation of Exodus 20:4 by itself.

An interesting sidelight to this is the varied treatments of art in Islam. At one end we see some mosques extensively decorated with very striking abstract non-representational art. At the opposite extreme we see paintings of, for example, events in the life of Mohammed fairly realistically portrayed but with veils over the faces to prevent them from being “likenesses”.
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08-18-2009, 10:37 AM (This post was last modified: 08-18-2009 10:41 AM by Raphael.)
Post: #8
RE: Church-mandated art
(08-17-2009 02:34 PM)Parousia Wrote:  The prohibition against graven images in the Abrahamic religions stems from Exodus.

anybody ever think critically any more?
or have we just become a bunch of cut and paste sheeple people?

I always wondered why none of the wordy bibles included any sketches of anything that was spoken of, that seemed important, at the time.
Great artists existed at the time, a scarcity of talent was NOT the problem of putting images in the bible history books.

Not one picture of the ARK or a sketch of Moses/Noah/Jesus/Mary exists?
Not one?
Hmm

Yet the Egyptians and other cultures are rife with these 'graven images' depicting their history?
It seems that concepts re: NUMBERS and historical IMAGES are inconsequential to the the Temple Priests who spew Bible banter with preachings of in the beginning there was the WORD, followed by sermons preaching and rebleating ambiguous words that seem to entrance the herd of sheeple?

Why are there NO pictures in the Bible...but later the Church/Christianity/Roman Catholic church is rife with all kinds of art depicting GOD as an ole' white guy, or the image of jesus being crucified on a cross, is an image implanted on our brains, an image that we are all familiar with...?

Not one guy could sketch Christ being crucified up on the mount eh?
Doesn't make sense, does it?
Pretending to be a history book, but valuable entries and valuable proof is missing?
2000 years later all the evidence is circumstantial?

Critical thinking has gone the vay of the dodo bird.

namaste

NATURE cannot be HIDDEN only VEILeD with NARRATIVES that defy NATURE

CodeX4 and the Reconciliation of Science and Religion
http://kachina2012.wordpress.com/about/
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02-05-2010, 05:19 PM
Post: #9
RE: Church-mandated art
(08-16-2009 12:14 AM)Annolennar Wrote:  What exactly bothers you? It makes for awesome art; it was a learning tool for the illiterate; and religious art was paid for by religious people. Seems fairly natural to me.

The problem is that secular disillusionment with the church in modern times has made divine subjects out of bounds for 'serious' modern art. It's left us with a spiritually empty aesthetic shell as the church claimed those genres for itself. I would even charge organised religion with this in other spheres that it purports to promote- morality, charity, self-discipline etc.

It's always a risk when one group seeks control of society, however well meaning they may be. The eventual decline of that group leads to a rejection of their values- not because there is anything wrong with those values but simply because they have been 'claimed' by that authority. Hopefully our secular culture is gradually disassociating the claims of religion over various spiritual and moral facets of life from those facets themselves, looking at them for what they are rather than what we're told they should be. In the realm of art this will hopefully lead to a new and vibrant expression of the divine.
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07-01-2010, 05:14 AM
Post: #10
RE: Church-mandated art
Awesome blog buddy and really nice art work also,I'm guessing it had something to do with the roman influence, but I'm not sure and I was curious how christendom got from "graven images are bad," to accepting art, and finally to demanding that art only be religious in nature. Thank you
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