Philosophy, Art, and Religion: Understanding Faith and Creativity

Philosophy, Art, and Religion: Understanding Faith and Creativity

by Gordon Graham


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At a time when religion and science are thought to be at loggerheads, art is widely hailed as religion's natural spiritual ally. Philosophy, Art, and Religion investigates the extent to which this is true. It charts the way in which modern conceptions of 'Art' often marginalize the sacred arts, construing choral and instrumental music, painting and iconography, poetry, drama, and architecture as 'applied' arts that necessarily fall short of the ideal of 'art for art's sake'. Drawing on both history of art and philosophical aesthetics, Graham sets out the historical context in which the arts came to free themselves from religious patronage, in order to conceptualize the cultural context in which religious art currently finds itself. The book then relocates religious art within the aesthetics of everyday life. Subsequent chapters systematically explore each of the sacred arts, using a wide range of illustrative examples to uncover the ways in which artworks can illuminate religious faith, and religious content can lend artworks a deeper dimension.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107584778
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 09/07/2017
Series: Cambridge Studies in Religion, Philosophy, and Society
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 5.59(w) x 8.94(h) x 0.47(d)

About the Author

Before taking up his post at Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersey, Gordon Graham taught philosophy at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, where he was also founding Director of the University Music Centre, and at the University of Aberdeen where he was Regius Professor of Moral Philosophy. The author of many essays on a wide range of philosophical topics relating to art, ethics, politics, and religion, his books include Philosophy of the Arts (third edition, 2005), The Re-enchantment of the World (2007) and Wittgenstein and Natural Religion (2014). He has been Sheffer Visiting Professor of Religion at Colorado College, Stanton Lecturer in Philosophy and Religion at the University of Cambridge, and an Adjunct Professor of Sacred Music at the Westminster Choir College.

Table of Contents

1. Religion, art, and the aesthetics of everyday life; 2. Sacred music; 3. Art, icon, and idolatry; 4. Literature and liturgy; 5. Glorious and transcendent places; 6. Re-thinking the sacred arts.

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