Sunday, February 14, 2016

RELIGIOUS ART | NEWS OF WEEK - 1st Sunday of Lent

By Gregory A. Disney-Britton
Detail of "Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?" (1897-98) by Paul Gauguin
"When you enter the world of art, you are, like it or not, entering the realm of religion," writes Aaron Rosen, author of "Art & Religion in the 21st Century." In this new book, artists from seminarian Paul Gauguin in the 1800s through today can be seen as part of a holy priesthood, (1 Peter 2:9) "endowed with heavenly gifts and graces." During these 40 days of Lent 2016  we will focus on just one of those artists each day, and ask ourselves what a world looks like when artists are the holy priesthood?

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1 comment:

Ernest Disney-Britton said...

I have long been intriqued by this notion of Artists as a holy priesthood, and why not? If you believe in scripture that artistic talent is a heavenly gift (1 Peter 2:9), why wouldn't you believe that Artists are a holy priesthood? Who would challenge it except for clergy who are non-artists? I was fascinated to learn that Paul Gauguin had been a seminary student from the age of eleven to the age of sixteen, but there are and have been many others with similar religious training, and also many pastors without formal religious training. I was fascinated to learn that his 1897 painting "Where Do We Come From?" was inspired by the catechism developed by his seminary's bishop. The three fundamental questions in that catechism were: "Where does humanity come from?" "Where is it going to?", "How does humanity proceed?" and I can't think of any spiritual questions more important for a priest to explore in a sermon or a work of art. I do believe that artistic talent is a heavenly gift, and I do believe that Artists are a holy priesthood.