10 1

Is it possible to detach religious art from its original theistic context and appreciate it entirely for itself?

View Results
moNOtheist 7 June 4

Post a comment Reply Add Photo

Enjoy being online again!

Welcome to the community of good people who base their values on evidence and appreciate civil discourse - the social network you will enjoy.

Create your free account


Feel free to reply to any comment by clicking the "Reply" button.


Sure most of what religion in my book has done more harm that anything I can think of. But to be honest, in their belief some have created some of the best art, the most beautiful music, and some amazing artcitecture.
Don't forget that Sir Issac Newton was a devout christian, yet he developed the laws of gravity, better yet he invented calculas to do it.
Micheal Faraday was also a devout christian, and his discoveries about electricity and magnatism, are the beginings of the electric world we live in today.
The list goes on and on.


Sure, it is also fun to deface it!


Absolutely. I recently met a couple that had two amazing masterpieces done in oil from the 14th century. They asked me to find buyers for them, but unfortunately their asking price was too high. I've attached a photo of one. Religious or not, it's astounding work.

A nice canvas but, to be honest, I think that it's rather later than 14th century.

This example, a 14th century image from Catalan, is a good representation of art of the period - perspective and natural realism had yet to be introduced.


I have found as I grow more aware of the great damage religions do to individuals and our world, my brightest friends and myself no longer can appreciate religiously based music or art without the grim realization of the history and meaning of these peaces of lovely artwork.

Absolutely. I'd recommend John Berger's 'Ways of Seeing' - he discusses paintings within their social and economic context and questions art criticism that ignores these to focus only on the aesthetic aspects.


And honestly most of the 'great' art was commissioned to impress...and it still does in many ways. But the subject was the safest at the time of their planning.


Many artists are deeply moved by religious experiences to create. So as a catalyst, religion is ok. The figures can all be seen as mythical. Which they are. Divine inspiration can be an altered state of consciousness. Some really beautiful art has come out of it. And I suppose a lot of it was created by non-religious artists commissioned by the wealthy church. Many struggling artists would take the job even if they disagreed with the subject matter or the purpose. Unlike some cake bakers😉


Michelangelo really only did religious art and he knew what was up.


It paid the bills too. Back in his time, religious art or a patron, or both were the few ways to go for a full time artist.


It's most definitely possible to appreciate the art, and dislike the theology.



There is incredible religious art, there is incredible religious music, there is incredible religious architecture. The theistic motivations of the artists involved do not detract from the beauty of their creations.


For me it’s possible to appreciate it in or out of context. Religion is art, not science.

skado Level 8 June 4, 2018

Religion is delusional nonsense and neither art nor science (IMHO). However there is art associated with religion and it can be exceptional as long as one takes it for what it is.

Art is often delusional nonsense. Try taking Jackson Pollock literally. 🙂

@skado Art is totally subjective, but I completely understand you.

I agree. A writer of fiction, fantasy, and horror is as much an art form as any other medium. Religion fits right in.

Exactly. Fiction is an artful arrangement of symbols, not descriptive prose.


True. 🙂

Write Comment
You can include a link to this post in your posts and comments by including the text q:98696
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content. Read full disclaimer.