Religious Art
Religion as Art: Guadalupe, Orishas, and Sufi
Religion as Art
Guadalupe, Orishas, and Sufi
Paperback      ISBN: 0826345700

Steven Loza explores how the iconic aspects of religion transcend mere symbolism with a collection of essays that examine the arts and their relationship to religious belief in three cultural areas of the world: the Mexican mestizo belief in the Virgen de Guadalupe, the West African Yoruba religion's base in a divination system of orishas, and the Sufi sect of Islam's musical/textual practices of devotional ecstasy to God.

The essays included here were originally presented at the 2004 international conference Towards a Theory for Religion as Art: Guadalupe, Orishas, and Sufi, organized by the Arts of the Americas Institute at the University of New Mexico. While they reflect the interdisciplinary design and dialogue of the conference, the essays also reveal that many of the arts are conceptualized cross-culturally, ranging from visual art and poetry to music and dance, and offer comparative studies of their relationships to society, politics, and culture in general.

Resurrecting Easter: How the West Lost and the East Kept the Original Easter Vision
Resurrecting Easter
How the West Lost and the East Kept the Original Easter Vision
Hardcover      ISBN: 0062434187

In this four-color illustrated journey that is part travelogue and part theological investigation, bestselling author and acclaimed Bible scholar John Dominic Crossan and his wife Sarah painstakingly travel throughout the ancient Eastern church, documenting through text and image a completely different model for understanding Easter's resurrection story, one that provides promise and hope for us today.

Traveling the world, the Crossans noticed a surprising difference in how the Eastern Church considers Jesus' resurrection--an event not described in the Bible. At Saint Barbara's Church in Cairo, they found a painting in which the risen Jesus grasps the hands of other figures around him. Unlike the Western image of a solitary Jesus rising from an empty tomb that he viewed across Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, the Crossans saw images of the resurrection depicting a Jesus grasping the hands of figures around him, or lifting Adam and Eve to heaven from Hades or hell, or carrying the old and sick to the afterlife. They discovered that the standard image for the Resurrection in Eastern Christianity is communal and collective, something unique from the solitary depiction of the resurrection in Western Christianity.

Fifteen years in the making, Resurrecting Easter reflects on this divide in how the Western and Eastern churches depict the resurrection and its implications. The Crossans argue that the West has gutted the heart of Christianity's understanding of the resurrection by rejecting that once-common communal iconography in favor of an individualistic vision. As they examine the ubiquitous Eastern imagery of Jesus freeing Eve from Hades while ascending to heaven, the Crossans suggest that this iconography raises profound questions about Christian morality and forgiveness.

A fundamentally different way of understand the story of Jesus' rebirth illustrated with 130 images, Resurrecting Easter introduces an inclusive, traditional community-based ideal that offers renewed hope and possibilities for our fractured modern society.

The Rule, the Bible, and the Council: The Library of the Benedictine Abbey at Praglia
The Rule, the Bible, and the Council
The Library of the Benedictine Abbey at Praglia
Hardcover      ISBN: 0295976616

The Rule, the Bible, and the Council focuses on the decoration of a Benedictine library conceived and executed within a few years of the conclusion of the Council of Trent. The Abbey at Praglia, near Padua, commissioned work from Paolo Veronese and Tintoretto as well as Battista Zelotti. The authors reconstruct the 16th-century library room using physical, on-site evidence, extant documents concerning the furnishings, measurements of the paintings, and early descriptions to re-create with computer technology the room furnished and decorated in 1562 -- ca. 1570. Zelotti's 24 paintings on canvas for the Library at Praglia show a sensitive and clear articulation of the doctrinal intent planned by the erudite Benedictine patrons.

Sacred and Profane Beauty: The Holy in Art
Sacred and Profane Beauty
The Holy in Art
Hardcover      ISBN: 0195223802

Gerardus van der Leeuw was one of the first to attempt a rapprochement between theology and the arts, and his influence continues to be felt in what is now a burgeoning field. Sacred and Profane is the fullest expression of his pursuit of a theological aesthetics, surveying religion's relationship to all the arts -- dance, drama, literature, painting, sculpture, architecture, and music. This edition makes this seminal work, first published in Dutch in 1932, newly available. A new foreword by Diane Apostolos-Cappadona analyzes the continuing relevance of van der Leeuw's thought.
Van der Leeuw's impassioned and brilliant investigation of the relationship between the holy and the beautiful is founded upon the conviction that for too long the religious have failed to seriously contemplate the beautiful, associating it as they do with the kingdom of sensuality and impermanence. Similarly it has been alien to literati and aesthetes to reflect upon the holy, for they choose to consider this physical world to be permanent, and therefore to be glorified through beauty alone. In truth, as van der Leeuw undertakes to show in Sacred and Profane Beauty, the holy has never been absent from the arts, and the arts have never been unresponsive to the holy. Whether one considers the Homeric epics, the dancing Sivas and Vedic poems, the sacred wall paintings of ancient Egypt, the primitive mask, or the range of sacred arts developed out of Latin and Byzantine Christianity, primordial creation in the arts was always directed toward the symbolization and interpretation of the holy. The fact that in our day this original connection is obscured and the artistic impulse is more generally regarded as wholly individualistic and autonomous does not contradict van der Leeuw's thesis; indeed, the breakdown of the unity of the holy and the arts is central to his thesis.
Van der Leeuw was the rare thinker who combined profundity of insight, grace of style, and a willingness to take daring intellectual chances. In Sacred and Profane, he describes each of the arts in its original unity with the religious and then analyzes its historical disjunction and alienation. After a penetrating investigation of the structural elements within the arts which illumines a crucial dimension of the religious experience, van der Leeuw points toward the reemergence of an appropriate theological aesthetics on which a reunification of the arts could be founded.



Sacred Art: Catholic Saints and Candomble Gods in Modern Brazil
Sacred Art
Catholic Saints and Candomble Gods in Modern Brazil
Hardcover      ISBN: 0253032059

Sacred art flourishes today in northeastern Brazil, where European and African religious traditions have intersected for centuries. Professional artists create images of both the Catholic saints and the African gods of Candombl to meet the needs of a vast market of believers and art collectors.

Over the past decade, Henry Glassie and Pravina Shukla conducted intense research in the states of Bahia and Pernambuco, interviewing the artists at length, photographing their processes and products, attending Catholic and Candombl services, and finally creating a comprehensive book, governed by a deep understanding of the artists themselves.

Beginning with Edival Rosas, who carves monumental baroque statues for churches, and ending with Francisco Santos, who paints images of the gods for Candombl terreiros, the book displays the diversity of Brazilian artistic techniques and religious interpretations. Glassie and Shukla enhance their findings with comparisons from art and religion in the United States, Nigeria, Portugal, Turkey, India, Bangladesh, and Japan and gesture toward an encompassing theology of power and beauty that brings unity into the spiritual art of the world.

Sacred Geometry of Nature: Journey on the Path of the Divine
Sacred Geometry of Nature
Journey on the Path of the Divine
Hardcover      ISBN: 1591432731

A fully illustrated inspirational art book from visionary painter Francene Hart

- Includes more than 80 full-color reproductions of Hart's intricate watercolor paintings and the stories behind them

- Recounts the evolution of her art and her discovery of the hidden order of Nature that led to her masterful artistic integrations of Nature, Spirit, and Sacred Geometry

- Explores how to tap into the energies provided by spirit guides and power animals, like Jaguar, Raven, Octopus, and Dolphin, and harness the intelligence of the heart for creative inspiration and vision

Every one of us possesses the potential to receive visionary experiences and integrate them into our lives. Artists become visionaries by cultivating their instinctive creative spark and sharing their profound visions with the world.

In this lavishly illustrated memoir, including more than 80 full-color reproductions of her intricate watercolor paintings and the stories behind them, Francene Hart recounts the evolution of her art from formative influences to her masterful integrations of Nature, Spirit, and Sacred Geometry. Opening with her early work on mandalas and her explorations of the work of Joseph Campbell and C. G. Jung, Hart explains how her first works of art were in response to the solitary life she led in the forest, where she discovered the hidden order of Nature. She reveals how she learned to center her artistic explorations on the intelligence of the heart rather than the intellect, utilizing the wisdom and imagery of Sacred Geometry, reverence for the natural environment, and the interconnectedness between all things as her inspirations. She describes the shamanic lessons that accompanied her discoveries and shaped her understanding of sacred relationships with the self, others, and Mother Earth. She explores how to tap into the energies provided by spirit guides and power animals, like Jaguar, Raven, Octopus, and Dolphin, and explains her profound affinity for the ocean, including her discovery of water consciousness in Hawaii. Offering chronicles of her inspiring travels and transformational encounters around the world, Hart shares her experiences at sacred sites in the Amazon, Central America, Egypt, England, Scotland, Paris, Cambodia, and the Himalayas and how these places influenced her art.

Exploring what is revealed as inspiration arises, Spirit informs, and vision is transformed into art, Francene Hart's journey offers a window into the secret order of Nature, the power of sacred symbols for evolving consciousness, and a visionary artistic path that perfectly blends the mathematical rigors of sacred geometry and the numinous.
Saints: A Year in Faith and Art
Saints
A Year in Faith and Art
Hardcover      ISBN: 0810954990

This richly illustrated text portrays more than 375 Catholic saints, arranged by the days of the year on which each beatified figure is honoured. Up to three saints have been chosen for each day of the year, with a brief accompanying description of each.

The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion
The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion
Paperback      ISBN: 0226771873

Originally published in 1983, Leo Steinberg's classic work has changed the viewing habits of a generation. After centuries of repression and censorship, the sexual component in thousands of revered icons of Christ is restored to visibility. Steinberg's evidence resides in the imagery of the overtly sexed Christ, in Infancy and again after death. Steinberg argues that the artists regarded the deliberate exposure of Christ's genitalia as an affirmation of kinship with the human condition. Christ's lifelong virginity, understood as potency under check, and the first offer of blood in the circumcision, both required acknowledgment of the genital organ. More than exercises in realism, these unabashed images underscore the crucial theological import of the Incarnation.

This revised and greatly expanded edition not only adduces new visual evidence, but deepens the theological argument and engages the controversy aroused by the book's first publication.

The Shakti Coloring Book: Goddesses, Mandalas, and the Power of Sacred Geometry
The Shakti Coloring Book
Goddesses, Mandalas, and the Power of Sacred Geometry
Paperback      ISBN: 1622034155

The term Shakti refers to the creative power of divinity--what artist and teacher Ekabhumi Charles Ellik calls the electric juice of life. Shakti is personified by an array of revered goddesses who represent universal virtues and archetypal energies we all share. The Shakti Coloring Book was created to help you begin to activate the transformational currents of this sacred power in your own life--even if you've never considered yourself an artist.

With The Shakti Coloring Book, Ekabhumi invites you to a serious yet thoroughly enjoyable practice. This comprehensive guidebook begins with Recognizing Shakti, a survey of the goddesses and their traditional attributes along with the origin and purpose of mandalas, yantras, and sacred geometry. Part two, Embodying Shakti, discusses the creation of mystic artworks and the making of art as a spiritual practice. Part three, Coloring Shakti, presents 21 stunning images of goddesses paired with 21 mystic diagrams to color and meditate upon as portals to new insight, transformation, and, ultimately, self-realization. The book concludes with Manifesting Shakti, a step-by-step training in creating a simple yantra (or realization device) to be used for purification and as a foundation for higher-level yogic practices.

Making sacred art is a type of meditation, explains Ekabhumi, helping us to come into stillness, focus our attention, and align with the principles portrayed in our artworks. Is there a virtue or trait that you would like to cultivate or strengthen? Are you looking for a way to deepen or expand your spiritual practice? Do you feel compelled by the beauty, mystery, and power of the goddesses? If so, The Shakti Coloring Book gives you a resource you will turn to time and again for inspiration, support, and self-expression.
Signs and Symbols in Christian Art: With Illustrations from Paintings from the Renaissance
Signs and Symbols in Christian Art
With Illustrations from Paintings from the Renaissance
Paperback      ISBN: 0195014324

First published in 1954 and having gone through several editions, this comprehensive book remains the authoritative source in the field. This paperback edition includes all of the 350 illustrations from the original edition, as well as the complete and unabridged text. Divided into fourteen chapters, text and illustrations reveal the symbolism inherent in representations of religious personages, the Earth and Sky, animals, birds, insects, and flowers. In addition to a discussion of objects treated symbolically in Christian art, George Ferguson explores Old Testament characters and events and their symbolic representation in art.