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Does Religious Art have any Relevance in Today's Society?

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Introduction

Does Religious Art have Relevance in Today's Society? In the past, many religions have used art to reach out to the illiterate masses and teach then the way of deities. In Italy, frescoes were painted to teach the poor and uneducated (who were not learned enough to read the holy book) the stories and parables of the Christian Holy Bible, by depicting scenes of the testaments both new and old. This was an attempt to make Christianity accessible to everyone, which is one of the many teachings within the bible. In Hinduism the many gods and avatars are represented using the 64 traditional arts that range from classic music pieces, songs and sculpture to the adornment of jewellery and plays of holy stories, with symbolism used throughout each, the most common being the lotus flower representing gentleness and peace and extra arms, legs or heads which are used to symbolise power and strength. But in today's society of growing religious arrogance and high literacy rates (in the West at least) does religious art still maintain its importance? It certainly does for museums and art galleries, in an economic way at least. Salvador Domenec Felip Jacint Dali I Domenech, Marquis of Dali de Pubol or as he is most commonly known Salvador Dali, one of the worlds most celebrated artists and one of the most photographed men of his time, owes at least some of his immense fame to religious art as most of his surrealist paintings contain many religious undertones and symbolism. Some of his work is very obvious in it's religious themes such as 'The Temptation of St. Anthony,' the print 'The Birth of a God', or 'Christ of St. ...read more.

Middle

Their art inspires meditaton and worship and is so important within Hinduism that there are towns in India such as Vrindaban and the neighbouring town of Mathura whose sole use is to create and produce Hindu art for use all over the world. But why do people pay to view exhibits, buy songs, and watch such movies? Is it some deep connection to art of these kinds that people enjoy? Is it maybe a bond that they feel to god while observing a religious painting or hearing a verse of pure devotion? Or is it merely to boast to their friends about that day they went to see that famous thing that guy painted? Whatever the reason, it is clear that religious art does have a certain power to compel and captivate people into spending their hard earned cash to see what is effectively some oil paint sloshed onto the surface of a rather big canvas and not very different from many other, non-religious forms of art. I agree with Graham Diamond, who I interviewed at St. Mungoes Museum, as long as there is religion of any kind in the world or an interest in the people of the past, religious art will always have its place. It speaks to all people both religious and otherwise in a way that is similar to everyone and yet unique to each person. Subtle symbolism and more obvious images and poems such as the Hindu Mahabharata tell us stories that help us understand religion in a way that can be interpreted an infinite amount of ways and can help future generations learn about us and our ancestors and our fascination with religion and the gods. ...read more.

Conclusion

Obviously I was unreligious but learning about it made me understand otherwise, and well, as you probably saw our top floor has very clear and easy to understand sections which are there to teach the many young children that we get in here about the six main religions in Glasgow and I think that its important to understand them at a young age. So um, yes I'd say so. Okay, um, so do you think that religious art has relevance in today's society? Sandra- For erm, for learning and education purposes for understanding about different faiths and acceptance and things then I would say absolutely but uh, is there other reasons that you can think of that I might be missing here... Graham- uhh... Sandra- I don't think that you can not have it because it's not just topical I mean you can't just dismiss it as umm... you know un important. What about in the future because in the world there is a lot of growing religious arrogance and there is a lot more people who are not religious, you know because of things like the world becoming more scientific so do you think that religious art will maintain it's significance? Graham- Well, where there is religion you know, there will always be art in some form or another. You know actually.... Sandra- I think t will always remain as it helps bring religious tolerance and knowledge I mean I know they link in but um, I think those are the two major topics of sort that religious art helps in a way. Well, thank you, thank you both I think that's really all that I need. Thank you for you time. ...read more.

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