An Introduction to Religious Art and Architecture

Some of the world’s great buildings and works of art have religious themes or purposes. But what makes a work of art or a building ‘religious’? How might the artist ‘s apparent intention and our own beliefs affect our judgment of the work’s composition and technique? How do we distinguish between religious art and religious kitsch? How much do we need to know about each religion’s narrative to appreciate its art? Can the ‘message’ of religious art be distorted by the surrounding culture? We explore questions like these through studying religious art and architecture from various religious traditions and through visits to religious sites.

DELIVERY MODE

  • Face-to-Face

COURSE OUTLINE

  • Definitions: can we agree on definitions of ‘religion’, ‘art’, or ‘ religious art’? Forms of religious art. Varying ‘intentions’ of creators of ‘religious’ art. Artistic treatments of some narratives of the five dominant religious traditions. Change in religious participation and in religious art.
  • Artistic themes and expressions in Hinduism and Buddhism. Art and the divine.
  • Artistic themes and expressions in Judaism and Islam. Restrictions on artistic expression.
  • Artistic themes and expression in Christianity. 
  • Religious architecture: relations between function and form. Some examples from Hinduism.
  • Interaction of image and word in Buddhism and Judaism.
  • Divinity and humanity in Christian architecture. 
  • The diversity of architectural expression in Islam. Some conclusions.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Value varying understandings of ‘religion’, ‘art’, and ‘religious art’
  2. Find ‘beauty’ and ‘truth’ in multiple forms of artistic expression
  3. Demonstrate an increased interest in the religious art and architecture of our own city or in our travels.
$239 Limited / $215

<p>Some of the world’s great buildings and works of art have religious themes or purposes. But what makes a work of art or a building ‘religious’? How might the artist ‘s apparent intention and our

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21 Jul

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