Art and Christ-following

I am not sure exactly why but paintings from various artists working on biblical themes (like those included in the Mosaic Bible) are affecting me deeply. It is like they are reaching into my soul and bringing out affections and spiritual effusions that are sometimes overpowering.

Those who know me would never suggest that I have an artistic bent. I tend to be on the rationalistic, aggressive, extrovert side of things. Music has always been a powerful force in my life, but not the visual arts.

This could perhaps have something to do with spiritual practices I am pursuing that are more contemplative and less focused on “what does this verse say in the Greek.” Actually, let me correct that. I don’t even want to read the Bible in English anymore. I want to read it in Greek and Hebrew. It is almost as if I want “in”. I want to merge with what is good, true and beautiful. I don’t want to be a step removed, looking on. I want to be inside looking out.

My guess is that this is what art offers to me. Not bypassing the mind, but using the mind’s capacity to know to enter into what cannot be known only by the mind.

One thought on “Art and Christ-following

  1. A recommendation from this non-artist: Caravaggio’s Biblical scenes, e.g. The Conversion of Saul.

    I think one reason such art affects us so strongly is that it brings us face to face with the subjects as real people, in their real-life settings, with their emotions.

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