Search      Translate
with Jesus

God and Art (2018)God and Art (2018)

In April of 2018 PBS, in partnership with the BBC, premiered a new, nine-part series called "Civilizations," the theme of which is to "examine the formative role of art and the creative imagination in the forging of humanity itself." The one-hour episodes include "What is Art Good For?" and "The Cult of Progress," which I reviewed earlier for JWJ. Other episodes consider "Paradise on Earth" (depictions of nature) and "How Do We Look?" (the human body in art). In "God and Art" we see the irrepressible urge in the earliest humans to use art to express and to experience the sacred. The film begins with two examples — the cave art in northern Spain that depicts red dots, stenciled hands, geometric shapes, and prehistoric animals; and the so-called Lion Man carved out of mammoth ivory that was found in southern Germany. Both of these examples are about 40,000 years old. Stonehenge, the Pyramids, the Greek Acropolis, the Roman Pantheon, and Cambodia's Angkor Wat (a former Hindu temple that is now a Buddhist shrine) testify to humanity's profuse polytheism in art and architecture. Even Judaism and Islam with their express prohibitions about depicting the divine in images nonetheless express the spiritual in the artistic through calligraphy, architecture, and illuminated manuscripts. But as we also see, wherever people use images to express the divine, there is always the danger of idolatry, and where there is idolatry there is often a reactionary iconoclasm. After touring most all the world and its religions, the film ends in St. Paul's Cathedral in London, where contemporary video artists have installed a remarkably successful contemporary expression of the sacred. I watched this film on the PBS website.

Copyright © 2001–2024 by Daniel B. Clendenin. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla Developer Services by Help With