Religion and the Arts

Various Contributors

Abstract


Until recently the study of "religion and the arts" was typically regarded as peripheral to the academic study of religion. History, texts, theologies and philosophies constituted the "rigorous" and examinable field of academic studies in religions. Now however we are able to benefit from a wide range of published information and materials conveyed in modern media which vividly show the interrelation of religions with the various arts throughout history to the present day. These serve to enhance our understanding of religious life in diverse cultures and often provide a helpful "way in" to a religion for students as well as for the general reader or TV watcher.

The several contributions in this issue cannot hope to offer a comprehensive range of the arts related io religion. They do however offer "soundings" into the richness of the field, with insights into Australian Aboriginal visual art and Indian folk art. Dance, drama and literature are not specially represented; but we have studies of modern stained glass and religious music in the "Western" tradition, as well as an overview of the relation of religion and the arts to the imagination. It is hoped that the enthusiasm and concern of the writers on these themes will have a flow-on effect for others.


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