By tradition, the study of religion has predominantly been concerned with intellectual aspects of faith and believing, focusing on texts, systematised creeds and articulated truth claims. Aesthetic dimensions of religions have thereby tended to receive less attention. As a consequence, contemporary scholarship is often unable to account for other aspects of human religiosity than the purely intellectual, such as the visual, the oral, the tactile and other sensory experiences within the religious frame of reference. By highlighting the relationship between religion and the arts, the current volume seeks to find a new, more multidimensional trajectory for the study of religion.

The articles in this volume address several different art forms – among these for example dance, drama, music, images and video art – and their relation to specific religious contexts. As is clearly shown by the varied themes presented in the volume, the arts play a prominent role as mediators of religious experiences and as expressions of religious sentiments, for individuals and for communities, in history and up to the present day.

Published: 1996-01-01

Articles