Religious Art ?
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15-02-2014, 03:54 PM
RE: Religious Art ?
I majored in Art History in college and focused specifically on Medieval European Art, so I've looked at a whole lot of Jesus and Mary in my life. I think I actually appreciate it more as art being removed from the religious aspects. I can look at a piece without the same bias as a believer and study the culture more objectively.

I find medieval art (which is mostly religious in nature, although some of the non-religious things are really fun) fascinating and beautiful. I've always loved the more cultural aspects of history, one of the first things that got me into history as a kid was reading ancient myths, and religious art gives an amazing look into that. The medieval cathedrals are breathtaking, and I can look at them as amazing works of humans instead of divinely ordained. I can talk about unsettling aspects of some religious iconography without self-censorship and worry.

Also, by studying the medieval period rather intensely I can probably talk with more authority about Church history and the development of Christian dogma more than any believer. I know how the portrayals changed to fit their times, I know the changes in orthodoxy, I've learned all the Apocrypha and non-canonical legends. I know where the relics came from and what the early view of them was, I know which popes commissioned portraits of their mistresses and how the building of those cathedrals served political purposes. A lot of my knowledge may be trivia, but it also gives me some arguments that aren't always heard.

Also, I studied the erotic tortures of virgin martyrs, the Virgin Mary breastfeeding, St. Sebastian's bulge and nuns giving birth to monkeys. That's just fun!
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