Friday, October 05, 2007

The Low State of Christian Art

De at Thinklings has an intriguing view on Christian aesthetics:

On a related topic, it is common to hear artistically-minded Christians bemoan the low state of affairs in Christian art these days. I sympathize with that position, and I haven't given up hope that things will improve. But I sometimes wonder (I just wonder, I am not set on this) if we should be surprised that the state of Christian art is low. It occurs to me that I'm low. Jesus is for losers, of whom I am the chief.

God has not chosen the elite of this world. And yes, I know that there have been periods of amazing sacred creativity and artistry in the church. But I sometimes wonder how Christian the state-sponsored efforts of the past that generated the great sacred art of our heritage really were.

I'm just thinking here. I'm not set on this. But, generally speaking, if God has chosen the lowly of the earth, should we be surprised when the art the lowly produce is, well, "low"?

A very interesting idea. The Gospel message is an unequivocal rejection of elitism, and certainly the fine arts are inherently a sign of prosperity (societies do not develop art until they produce a surplus of labor).

1 comment:

Stephen said...

What an interesting concept. I have noticed however that more and more of Christian Art is emerging out of the barrios, South Africa, and South America with new themes, with liberation being one.

Maybe it is a renaissance period for Christian Art in different cultures and we fail to recognize this in our "American Kinkade Christian Period".