Friday, March 30, 2012

Looking at Culture and Faith from Other Angles.

In order to be effective Christian artists, we must learn about various philosophies, religions, and even denominations within Christianity.  All perspectives on culture and faith and how they relate to thoughts, actions, and lifestyles are pertinent pieces to the puzzle we are creating. 

In this entree, I am recommending a look at one Atheist opinion on the matter of faith and culture.

The recommendation......  A facebook friend posted a book review for Alain de Bottom's, 'Religion for Atheists' written by David Brooks in the New York Times recently.  I think it poses key thoughts on the connection between culture and faith through the eyes of an Atheist philosopher, as well as, the author of the review.  Alain de Bottom writes about the gap between Art and the human condition.  He says that art has the potential to affect the soul, impart wisdom, and fill a void. As the writer and freelance philosopher Alain de Botton argues in “Religion for Atheists,” cultural and intellectual institutions are no longer about the salvation of souls: He states that is has been effective in the past, but not in today's political or cultural scene.

"De Botton looks around and sees a secular society denuded of high spiritual aspiration and practical moral guidance. Centuries ago, religions gave people advice on how to live with others, how to tolerate other people’s faults, how to assuage anger, endure pain and deal with the petty corruptions of a commercial world. These days, he argues, teachers, artists and philosophers no longer even try to offer such practical wisdom.
'We are fatefully in love with ambiguity, uncritical of the Modernist doctrine that great art should have no moral content or desire to change its audience,' he writes.
Museums were once temples for the contemplation of the profound. Today, he says, they offer pallid cultural smorgasbords: 'While exposing us to objects of genuine importance, they nevertheless seem incapable of adequately linking these to the needs of our souls.”

In order to create palatable art that encourages meaningful dialogues and connections and imparts truth, we must first understand sources of hunger by the masses.  I found that Alain de Bottoms thoughts on art, education, politics, and other social matters to be interesting, but lacking.... of course. The solution lacks the cohesive 'glue' that binds all things. It is a call of hunger for soul satisfying existence.  Boy, could we contribute to that!

We know the solution to the issues de Bottom describes is a relationship with our Creator, and not religion.   Through prayer, discernment, grace, and our acquisition of knowledge and wisdom, we will deliver this Truth through our media.
Here is the full article: 

A little more about Alain de Botton:
His website:

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