1887

n South African Journal of Cultural History - Art and religion : notes on the visual expression of dogma and an analysis of works which moved beyond the norm

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Abstract

This article is the outcome of two lectures on the subjects of art and theology and art and religion, delivered respectively at the meetings of two associations at the University of South Africa at the end of 1997. The research for the first paper read at the (Group for the Study of Religion) on 8 October 1997, entitled (Art and theology), was done from the point of view that most so-called "religious art" which was executed for church patrons throughout the Christian era can be described as an expression of visual dogma. The explicit purpose of art executed on the basis of a specific programme for church patrons was to communicate a message approved of by the clergy or those who wield power in organised religion. Mediocre artists who were commissioned by the Church merely perpetuated the established stylistic and iconographic traditions, often in a debased way. On the other hand, the second lecture which forms the second part of this article, explained how talented artists of the past succeeded in communicating aesthetic messages which enhanced the meaning of their works over and above the dogmatic content of their work. This gave rise to theoretical speculation about the uniqueness of art created by artists who succeed in transcending conventions, be it those of religious dogma or art in general.


Hierdie artikel is die resultaat van twee lesings oor die onderwerpe van kuns en teologie en kuns en religie wat onderskeidelik teen die einde van 1997 op vergaderings van twee vakverenigings aan die Universiteit van Suid-Afrika voorgedra is. Die navorsing vir die eerste referaat, getitel "Kuns en teologie", op 8 Oktober 1997, is gedoen vanuit die standpunt dat die meeste sogenaamde "religieuse kuns" wat dwarsdeur die Christelike era in diens van kerklike opdraggewers gedoen is, as visuele dogma beskryf kan word. Die eksplisiete doel van kuns wat op die grondslag van 'n spesifieke program vir kerklike opdraggewers uitgevoer is, was om 'n boodskap oor te dra wat goedgekeur is deur die geestelike leiers wat mag oor georganiseerde godsdiens gevoer het. Klein kunstenaars wat opdragte van die Kerk ontvang het, het bloot die aanvaarde stilistiese en ikonografiese tradisies voortgesit, dikwels op 'n minderwaardige wyse. Aan die ander kant is in die tweede lesing, wat die tweede deel van hierdie artikel uitmaak, aangetoon hoe talentvolle kunstenaars van die verlede daarin geslaag het om estetiese boodskappe te kommunikeer wat die waarde van hulle werk bo die dogmatiese inhoud daarvan verhoog het. Hierdie insig het aanteiding gegee tot teoretiese spekulasie oor die uniekheid van kuns wat geskep is deur kunstenaars wat in staat was om konvensies te transendeer, hetsy die van godsdienstige dogma of kuns in die algemeen.

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/content/culture/15/1/EJC30551
2001-01-01
2016-12-07
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