top of page
  • Writer's pictureMagazine

Need-to-Inform. Art And Religion

Need- To- Inform

Art and Religion

By "art system" I understand the total of principles and rules that are necessary in a system of signs articulating the meaning.

For example at the figurative art system, or the non-figurative and anionic are different signs and concepts. With religion I mean all faiths, of all times and places.

The relationship between religion and artistic systems can open up a vast range of questions, organised such by reflections on unusual aspects of art, history, theories, and finally also in sacred art terms. The initial question is specified in a later question from harder to be replaced: Is the link between religion and art essential systems?, Is there a kind of reciprocity between a world of beliefs and the world of signs in it is expression?

Such reflections can be made taking into account history of peoples, their religions and their artistic expressions, inquiring with anthropological-cultural sensitivity, being attentive not only to the mere recording of facts, but looking links and motivations. I will seek ways to collect any indication at this historical-artistic and cultural process, offering some thoughts only useful for a more comprehensive and systematic theory.

Some relationships between religion and art are very famous, they can even serve paradigmatic points of reference. For example it is well known the link between aniconism and Islam, motivated by the theological necessity of having no figurative representations within the complex system of symbolic decorations of the holy places. Other known of studied is the prohibition of anthropomorphic representation in the Jewish tradition, which placed is a clear relation to a theoretical system that has developed in the course of the ancient history of the Jewish people, multiple symbolic possibilities through abstract or decorative signs, capable of translating the world of art in wisdom, such as textile carpeting sefardite decorations.

Therefore Jewish and Islamic monotheism offer a clear choice of fundamental figurative systems. Very interesting is the analysis of artistic expressions from people who practiced and still practice, naturalistic cults, other pantheistic, as a highlighted are the handicraft products of these cultures, which is a recurrent system of signs, ie, a wide range of zoomorphic signs, phytomorphic and especially informal and abstract geometric or amorphous type; this uses a wider range of signs but in which all tend a geometric system or styling vocabulary, that helps us to understand how this immense vocabulary of signs, forms and compositions have a deep relationship with the dense world of spirits and more or less demonic beings that takes place in cultural and cultic dimension of these peoples.

Anthropology cultural and history of arts, work together, revealing a world of devices, ranging from simple household utensils to the true and proper instruments of worship, full of apotropaic signs, which are assigned to positive or negative spirits to protect a place or a particular activity or human action.

Deepening the study, this type of representative system is perhaps one of the most widespread on the planet and is among the first chronologically appeared in the vast world of artistic expression. Here we find expression in fact, in a summary rating of archaeological spanning multiple cultural dimensions with many examples: beginning with the drawings that covers the Polynesians´s caves, vases from Kamares Lapp drums decorations, Italic Iron Age bows, the daunts wakes from the V Century BC until the Tibetan mandala.

A widespread sense of sacredness, which coincides with the natural world and hides expressed the forces of nature, leading thus to cosmological visions of geometric and abstract symbols sign prevails. Very different is the situation of the polytheistic mythology of the ancient Greeks, in which gods, although adapted to the natural elements, were represented as true and own personifications of human forms. The anthropomorphism of such religion decline a system which produced particularly signs involving the representation of the human figure. Here

Greek sea God has a human body , not the spirit of the river, therefore needs a system of signs to be expressed . Greek polytheism and other polytheisms antique art systems have been created mostly figurative .

Finally , it is a special case , an exception that leads to compliance and full maturity figurative signs , Christian monotheism . The mystery of God's transcendence is illuminated by the mystery of the Incarnation : God becomes man and reveals that God is Triune One , and that in the face of Christ , true God and true man , the Father's face looks . Christian art is dedicated immediately to observe a faces . The option to figurative system becomes inescapable: the historical dimension of Jesus life , also his disciples life, his apostles , their Church , imposes a figurative and narrative system.

But not lacking, from the beginning, anionic temptations, fear of messing transcendence with figuration, the definitive answer to these fears is the sullen immagini Decree of the Council of Nica II, above all in the safety of an uninterrupted two thousand year old tradition has led to its culmination in the figurative system, perfecting the expression making it suitable to the representation of vision of creating redeemed, where the natural beauty is the sign and expression of the infinite beauty of God. The link between religion and art is a solid and deep system, active and fruitful; each system of signs expressing a total of beliefs, a religious view of the cosmos and man. And, also, there is a reciprocal basis, a strong and indissoluble link between the sign and the religious idea, between the art world and the religious system that produced.

For Hegel religion is the key who determined the historical recognition development of each time, which was used to educated people through religion that at least was the most important element in society, and was charged with the important task of develop the spiritual factor.

The three manifestations of the spirit for this philosopher were art, religion and philosophy.

Both religion and philosophy have in common the truth as an object and God as the truth and both have the same speculative content.

The two also address the finite nature and the human spirit.

Hegel says that reason which the universal spirit rules the world and their views are the contrasts between the thinking of both atheists and religious philosophers which do not accept that religion is subordinate to philosophy.

Hegel values ​​the educational role of religion throughout history. To him Bible is the most important book to instruct people.

Religion differs often from philosophy because this one used emotional and representative expressions, while philosophy has great, rigors and useful concepts far away for representation but are useful to explain events.

All Treaties pointed are unified in art where this three representative figures simbiology, amorphous, figurative or non figurative signs, where the zoomorphic, philosophical, ethical, or infinite or finitu exist. They fit into the idea of ​​freedom of the Spirit.

Is God dead?

We live in a media world where art plays a representative role like religion, because today trends are united by this human experience, and where economy, mass culture, and technology are continuously present.

All this is focuses on two important historical turning points, first Luther's Reformation and the other, the Enlightenment.

Luther's Reformation "privatised, liberalised and decentralised relationship between information and communications paragraph and he has given them unique personality. "Luther sense of "I" concluded that "every Christian is, at once, just and sinner, holy and profane, enemy of God, but nevertheless God´s son" he has created the "modern Human being".

Continuing our vision the Enlightenment Movement appears where philosophers, theologians, thinkers, and writers opened their minds in a moment of reflection.

So, we meet again with the "I" from Luther and we conclude oil thoughts with Nietzsche, killing God resulting the summiting event in man´s history, concluding the creation of the artist, whose creative activity is beyond good and evil.

Artist: Fred Friedrich

Name: Ex-voto

Technique: Installation



24 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Need-To-Inform. Bansky the great Phenomenon

Bansky Our perception of art, the way we define artist, as well as art itself have been changing drastically with the rapid developments of digitalisation and globalisation. If we look deeper into his

1000 Humankind Artworks

HISTORIAS DE AMOR EN EL ARTE El amor, ya se sabe, omnia vincit, supera obstáculos. Las historias de amor en el arte son un paréntesis importantes para la creación de obras monumentales tanto en la lit


bottom of page