Religious naturalism and art

venus_willendorf1“How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person to another,
if it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology?
In my view, it is the most important function of art and science
to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it.”
Albert Einstein

With architecture, paintings, music, and other forms, art has long been part of religions. Art is likewise important to many religious naturalists – as a way of experiencing things that can’t be stated in words (or that use poetry, not precision, in words).

Unlike artistic themes that developed over centuries in relation to traditional religions, a relation between naturalism, religion, and art is fairly new. But nature has long been a focus in art, and many ancient and modern works can contribute to a sense of something spiritual or religious. Also, as is suggested in the quote from Albert Einstein, above, a challenge available to naturalists who are artistically-inclined is to create works that examine the beauty and spiritual meaning that can come from appreciation of the natural world.

Sunlight through treesLinks, below, show some examples.

Encounters with art
…..(as a form of practice for religious naturalists)
Artist/naturalists

Hudson River school paintings
Art of science gallery
Mathematical art galleries
Snow art (Simon Beck)
Gallery (selected images)

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It should be noted that naturalism is a style in art that features realistic depictions. This generally does not include the religious sense that is part of religious naturalism. So, while the two share part of a common name, art related to RN is not the same as, and is not bound by, the style of naturalism in art.

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