Category Archives: Arts

From Atheism to Zoroastrianism, Respect for Diversity of Belief

Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum is hosting “From Atheism to Zoroastrianism, Respect for Diversity of Belief” until August 31, 2008. The exhibition consists of 500+ highly personal works of art on the subject of belief with a special emphasis on those who honor the beauty in faiths other than their own. The exhibition includes artists from a wide range of belief traditions as well as those “rogue religionists” who have invented their very own! It is is an invitation to the public of all ages to deepen their own exploration of personal, idiosyncratic, and traditional belief.

German Cardinal uses Nazi term to describe atheist art

Cardinal Joachim Meisner Hot on the heels of yesterday’s post about about art and the non-religious, Deutche Welle reports that Germany’s Cardinal Joachim Meisner has triggered a storm of criticism by describing atheist art as “degenerate” when speaking at the blessing of his archdiocese’s new art museum, the Kolumba, in the heart of Cologne, on Friday.

“Wherever culture is separated from the worship of God, the cult atrophies in ritualism and culture becomes degenerate,” he said.

Deutche Welle reports that “the word “degenerate” is hardly ever used in Germany today because of its known association with the Third Reich.

The National Socialists’ aggressive persecution of artists whose works did not conform to their ideology culminated in 1937 with the infamous Munich-exhibition called “Degenerate Art” in which a collection of modernist artworks was displayed, accompanied by texts deriding the works. Continue reading

Non-believers and the arts

This is the first of a number of postings about the cultural particpation of non-belivers in the UK, based on the Governement’s Taking Part survey (2005/6 results).

Art is often described as one of the great contributions that religions have given to the world, and is even used as a proof of God. It’s certainly impossible to deny the strong link between art and religion. But art galleries have also been describes as secular cathederals and temples.

So are in modern day Britain, is there any difference in how religious and non-religious people engage with the arts? Continue reading