Each with His Own Brush: Contemporary Christian Art in Asia and Africa

Each with His Own Brush: Contemporary Christian Art in Asia and Africa

Each with His Own Brush: Contemporary Christian Art in Asia and Africa

Each with His Own Brush: Contemporary Christian Art in Asia and Africa

Excerpt

Sometimes a new and thrilling country is opened up for us to explore. It is hoped that the reproductions of indigenous Christian paintings contained in this book may afford such an adventure. It seems that we can go nowhere on this planet without finding traces of man's creative spirit, for artistic taste has been so inborn in him that, even in remote caves or when hard pressed in catacombs, this spirit has found expression. Art has always been the handmaid of religion and, in turn, religion has been the creator and preserver of art, as has been especially true in Europe. Now that Christianity has become ecumenical (or, in the literal sense of this word, has gained a foothold in all parts of the inhabited earth), one expectantly surveys the younger Christian communities of the world to see what use the church has made of form and color in the expression of her life and faith. This expansion of Christianity into the non-Christian world opens up a new significant period, not only in the expression of the spirit but also in art.

Just as we are surprised by fresh new insights gained from reading the Bible in some modern translation -- in French or German, or in Hindustani or Chinese -- so a sympathetic survey of these interpretations of the Christian faith in varied cultures may enrich our own appreciation. Moreover, such a survey may keep us from being parochial, may help us to understand Christian art in a truly catholic spirit since we become acquainted, not only with various characteristic stylistic differentiations, sequences and techniques, but also with new values and insights among the art treasures which each race brings for the enrichment of the church. Even a quick turning of these pages will reveal reflections of varied cultures showing that the church is stranger to no soil or country.

As at Pentecost, Parthians, Medes and Elamites heard the message, "every man in his own tongue wherein he was born," so we see Chinese and Japanese and Indian expressing Christianity's universal language, each with his own brush. For when the spirit of God descends upon any people, new forms of beauty appear, new artistic gifts are revealed, adding another testimony to the universality of the Christian faith. In particular, one is impressed by the ecumenical appeal of the theme of the nativity, for, just as it has been a favorite . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.