Beyond the Oscars: Religion and Visual Art

It’s Oscar season, and the social scene is focused on the accomplishments of screenwriters, directors, actors, and cinematographers. There are, however, multiple visual media by which viewers are lured into new visions, some quite ancient and others very new—paintings and icons, sculpture and bronzes and tapestries; video games, photography, performance art, theater.

Every religious tradition has had occasion to proselytize, inspire, and educate through art. What are the theologies behind artistic representations? In what ways does art persuade, proselytize, or reveal truth? What medium is most conducive to a particular religious tradition and why?

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