Relationship Between Art and Religion
Art and religion are common in that they are both the creation of the uniqueness of the brain of man. The human brain have the ability to utilize the strength of imagining to come up with the past as well as the future, consequently, the human brain is able to invent a number of fantasies of realities that tend to supplement the factual reality, especially when the reality eludes the understandings and explanation of man. Van Gogh quotes that there is an interrelation between religion and art as he feels good relating to both. Generally, man values systems that are having their roots embedded in the emotional brain centers; religion and art are to a great extent tied to the emotional centers of the brain of human as they quest to discover and express some emotional satisfying explanations of the existence on the universe as a whole.
Art as well as religion depend on the intellectual ability of humans for them to be created. Art and religion provide humans with an aim and a beauty that is more than just the survival of humans. The human art and religion stretch far beyond the immediate survival purposes like it is the case in animals that construct nests or perform mating dances (Woodhead, Partridge & Kawanami, 2016). What art and religion do is that they are strengthening the social bond that is exists between humans and engendering positive emotions that bring joy and empathy.
Considering the roles that are played by a number of arts in the world of religion, there is storytelling which is one of the basic artistic expressions of the imagination of man and yet all the religions are telling stories. Most religious beliefs are stemmed on written and orally transmitted stories for thousands of years since the inception of religion. There are languages that have since ceased being part of daily religious purposes and they have fragmentally understood and they have grown to be sacred and they are utilized in songs as well as scripts. An example is the beautiful Arabian scripts that are found in mosques that are not readable to all the Muslims but they are still kept and they have since been used as decorative forms of art.
Man is more of an oriented animal that is finding most of its knowledge from the sense of vision as well as the extension of storytelling as it is found in visual arts, mosaics, paintings, paintings and sculptures. The cultural heritages of a number of religious groupings are standardized by the visual expression that is got from their stories, forms and they are maintained with quite minimal changes. The depiction of the Buddha is one such example. The Buddha was initially only represented by footprints its representation has since developed and now and now the representation is of a Buddha that is sitting in a lotus position, lying or just standing. The image has since been turned into a deity. In contrast, the image of Jesus Christ in the churches is that of a tall and slender Caucasian who is having a long face as well as a nose. Their hardly exists images that are portraying him as some short and swarthy individual. When met with hard moments, or when in death bed hallucinations, Christians get to see this description as the figure of Jesus whereas the Buddhists will be seeing the image of Buddha when in such states. The images, of Jesus and Buddha were developed by artists. This shows a dip interrelation of religion and art as in a way or the other, arts assists Religion to manifest itself on people.
Moving on, the churches where Christians worship have a lot of human figures with some being figures of animals. For instance, the Judeo-Christian religion stresses on the belief that man is essentially not the same to the animals and other creatures and in some instances referring to them as evil brutes. The figure that represents the devil has hooves; it has horns as well as a tail behind it. All these are artistic representations. The dragon and snake are signs that represent evil though in some religions they are seen as benevolent. There is a single positive animal-human artistic creature that depicts the angels. They are the figures of humans and they are having all sorts of tails (Dillenberger & Handley, 2014). The artists had a free-for all when they were coming up with the ever-new configurations to represent the wings of the angels.
The other outstanding art that interrelates with religion is music. Music is seen as the most prevalent form of religious art other than the visual arts. In many religions across the globe, human voice is used, instruments of music and certain kinds of dancing that is rhythmic is employed to accompany music. Way before the coming up of the secular operas and the symphonies, religious music held the spot as the outstanding emotional and touchy constituent of religious sacraments. In music, there is the physical moving of the body that is interwoven with the elements of music such as rhythm. They include foot stomping, swaying of the body, hand clapping as well as dancing. Similarly, these are the artistic elements that represent a number of rites. These applies to almost every religion as even the American sect, the Shakers, who her opposed to all sensuality and related forms, still found their emotional religious beings expressing by physically shaking their bodies (Kleiner, 2016). In Turkey, the ordinary citizens twirl themselves around in the courtyards of mosques until they get dizzy with bliss. In a way this practice has developed to the form of art of the Dervishes. The Dervishes twirl singly and at time in pairs as they put on huge white skirts that theatrically flare in rhythm. As well, ceremonial body movements that are associated with given religions are also a way of telling stories using the hands and foot gestures as is seen in the Hawaiian dances and Hindu.
The art in religion assists people seek for security and hope. In the society today, peace is needed and the society needs an anchor that they can hold on. Religious art lifts the spirit of the society and brings about piece within in a magnificent manner. Art helps reassure individuals that there is life after death. Just as the quotation by Vincent van Gogh implied that there is a relationship between art and religion as they mutually hold on the other.
- Woodhead, L., Partridge, C., & Kawanami, H. (Eds.). (2016). Religions in the modern world: traditions and transformations. Routledge.
- Dillenberger, J., & Handley, J. (2014). The Religious Art of Pablo Picasso. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Kleiner, F. (2016). Gardner’s art through the ages: The western perspective(Vol. 1). Cengage Learning.