01 November 2006

"Art is God made visible"

Listened to: Revival in Belfast (Robin Mark CD)

I'm reading a book called House of Belief: Creating Your Personal Style by Kelee Katillac. It's an interior designer's ideas on how to make the decor in your house reflect your personal beliefs and values. She feels it's important to do this because what we see around us reinforces what we believe. In one chapter, "The Church of the Home," she tells of how in times past, cathedrals provided those "visual affirmations" for believers. Describing a visit to Notre Dame, she writes, "the vaulting, the very architecture of the place--the great church in its physical form--suggests man embracing God. The central hall, or nave, with its right and left wings, forms the shape of a human body with torso and arms stretched outward--arms open to receive divine inspiration, baring the soul to receive the secrets of creation. [The shape of a cross, too, I might add, which not coincidentally happens to fit a human body.] Like priests performing a transforming ritual, the craftsmen forged their beliefs into works of artistry. Wood and stone were transformed into a body of belief with a rib cage of great buttresses, leglike pillars, and a heart of carved altars. All around me...I could see...evidence of God, not as remote or detached but as present and active, communing with man in a sort of divine collaboration....There in the brushstrokes of a mural and in the deep carvings of marble statuary I could see something of God's own creative nature as it has been emulated through artistic expression. Art is God made visible."

This is another example of what Admonit was talking about in her Embodied Theology post.


Iambic Admonit said...

This is fantastic, Rosie! I would love to read that book, since we're planning to build a house in the spring. Maybe we can incorporate some ideas. Do you think you'll use some of the suggestions as you move into/redecorate your newly purchased home?

Rosie Perera said...

Absolutely. That's why I picked up the book again. I'd started it months ago and was very intrigued by it, but laid it aside as other enticing books came across my path. But now it's more relevant than ever. That happens with books and me quite often. There comes a time when a particular book on my shelves jumps out at me saying, "this is the time for which you bought me!" So I no longer feel too guilty about all the books I've bought which I haven't gotten around to reading yet. :-)