Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Arabic Calligraphy

Arabic calligraphy is one of the most highly regarded arts forms in the Islamic world, because it is the language of the Qur'an, the sacred book of Islam. Muslims believe it was dictated to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel between 610-632 A.D. Since then, Arabic calligraphy has become a highly developed art form due to the prohibition of images within most branches of Islam.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Native American Contextualization

Although not dealing specifically with the visual arts, I invite you to check out the newest issue of Mission Frontiers magazine, "Making Jesus Known."  It has articles by several native Christian leaders about contextualization, and each article (or the entire issue) can be downloaded in pdf format.  I'm still reading through it, but so far have really enjoyed the article on contextualized sweat lodges!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Early Examples of Contextualized Christian Art

I'm currently reading Our Sacred Signs by Ori Z. Soltes, and in Chapter Three he discusses the origins and development of (western) Christian art. It's interesting to read how these early Christ-followers in Europe combined their new understanding of Jesus with imagery from their pagan background in ways that were either complementary with their faith, and/or by infusing pagan motifs with new Christian meanings.