Diane Apostolos-Cappadona
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(3,748 words)

A mode of creative expression, communication, and self-definition, art is fundamental to human existence and to religion. By visualizing doctrines, dogmas, myths, and rituals through signs and symbols, art helps orient the human within the horizon of a community, world, and cosmos. Art renders the human situation — origin, existence, death, and afterlife — comprehensible through visual representations. Art communicates religious beliefs, customs, and values through iconography and depictions of the human body. For some religious communities, art is fraught with danger and has a dubious, if not negative, connotation. For others, art is a primordial expression of the human and reflective of the divine. The contemporary challenges to art and to religion come from globalization, pluralism, secularization, and technology. ⸙

Vocabulary for the Study of Religion Online

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