Q. Why does the site only focus on the visual arts and not music or dance…?
A. Visual art has always been in question and largely misunderstood in the reformational church traditions as a whole. There are reasons for this but what we are losing as a culture is how the finer or higher arts work as a language. It is our held belief that the finer art that pushes our understanding and awareness is greater than common art which often unites people through common levels of understanding and meant to appeal to a average mean. With that in mind, all the arts take a place when representing humanity and especially theology as artistic expression ties into what about us is specifically human and is the tangible expression of the transcendental characteristic of Beauty. The visual arts are covered more here because the visual arts have been lost too many a Christian denomination, even considered unnecessary. This is not an either or question, but the consideration of “wholeness.” Since there are plenty of sites on music and architecture, and since I am schooled and experienced in the visual arts both commercially and fine, this site addresses the utility of the visual arts for aiding transcendent beauty.
Q. Why do you not use the term sacred?
A. The term sacred has been used too widely since the late 20th century and can mean too many thing to too many people. The term “consecrated” means simply to “set aside” and specifically in serving a deity. It encompasses sacred yet by its nature suggests intention and action whereas sacred does not. A thing can be by its very nature sacred. Consecrated, is a term of action, like the family of God is set aside for higher purpose and a consecrated space is one set aside as a place different from the world and the world’s ways.
Q. Why are the photos from Christian Churches and not also from Hindu, Buddhist, or Jewish temples to name a few. Aren’t they consecrated?
A. Yes they are places of consecration and worship. This site is for the Christian faith and talks the language of Christianity in the vocabulary of Judeo-Christianity. But the concept applies: Beauty is universal.
Q. Why are all the photos from Catholic churches?
A. The images were photographed from spaces where art and architecture hold importance and are part of a Liturgical expression: places where the visual is held to high importance in the communication of the Theology and the movement and education of the congregation. The images aren’t only from the Roman Catholic Church, though they have been the greatest patron and investors in the visual arts and architecture in human history, giving us some of the most beautiful art ever made. The photographs also document arts found in Anglican/Episcopal, and Orthodox churches including the Greek, Eastern, Russian, Coptic, Armenian, and Ethiopian…to name a few. Not all the photographs are Catholic.
Q. What is appropriate beauty?
A. I use the term appropriate beauty with regard to a consecrated space as a visual expression made with a high intention reflecting the truth and goodness of God. Any way that transports a viewer to consider a spiritual reality as taught in Scripture and can motivate one to consider themselves in a transformative way, and still works within the function of the space as a permanent spiritual facility and utility (rather than having an art show in the space that performs more like a gallery, changing constantly and co-opting chapels away from their usual function and accessibility – that is a different thing altogether and risks novelty – but it does have a place, it just isn’t what we are focusing on). Beauty can informative and transformative if appropriately applied within godly intention for permanent purpose when establishing a consecrated space.