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Man and Culture

Expanding or limiting the boundaries of the УallowableФ: to the problem of outlining the concept of Уreligious artФ

Golovushkin Dmitrii Aleksandrovich

Docent, the department of History of Religion and Theology,†Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia

191186, Russia, Sankt-Peterburg, g. Saint Petersburg, Naberezhnaya reki Moiki, 48, korpus 20 (Fakul'tet sotsial'nykh nauk), kab. 214

ƒругие публикации этого автора

Gumarova Irina Ravkatovna

Artist, Curator of Educational Project "Art is Here"

191024, Russia, g. Saint Petersburg, ul. Degtyarnaya, 5-7, of. -




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Abstract: Religious art is one of the most complex and controversial phenomena in the history of art. The attempts to conceptualize this phenomenon are relatively recent, and are carried out mostly in the context of the existence of confessional, ecclesiastical/nonecclesiastical, cult/atheistic art. Therefore, religious art within the Russian humanities traditionally receives ambivalent interpretation. In a narrow sense, religious art implies a combination of artworks with dogmatic, doctrinal, and liturgical meaning. In a broad sense, religious art represents a set artworks that reveal religious themes from ideological and figurative perspectives, reflect religious worldview, faith and experience, but do not carry sacred statues, nor intended for reverence, worship, liturgical practices.  The author concludes that neither definition describes the distinctness and novelty of the religious art. The appropriate interpretation describes religious art as d both, ecclesiastical/non-ecclesiastical and cult / atheistic art. This leads to a terminological confusion, and doubts the need for introducing the concept of “religious art” and the phenomenon itself. The key towards understanding this phenomenon and a new definition of the concept of “religious art” can be their context – the European and Russian secularization. It is not coincidental that the first was addressed, and the second was deliberately formulated at the turn of the XIX – XX centuries. Religious art mainstreams during the historical periods when the boundaries of secularization/religion become flexible, initiating struggle for them.

Keywords: desecularization, secularization, non-cult art, cult art, out-of-church art, church art, confessional art, Religious art, evolution of religion, contextual analysis
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .

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