The Grotesque as Sacred

1 06 2009


More notes on religious art

What makes an image sacred? People nowadays, who often do not tie beauty in with holiness (as proven by the various monstrosities produced by the modern church) can often come up with various mechanistic solutions to the question. Many would have us think that sacred imagery has to follow very explicit rules and patterns to be holy, and this is perhaps behind the resurgence of interest in “classical” Byzantine iconography, which can be seen in many of the more “upscale” churches. For others, the rules of Christian aestheics can become as complicated as a tract of Karl Rahner or Hans Urs von Balthasar, and still for others they can be traditions that we have lost long ago that it is imperative that we recover, and so on. For most, it can be a strange free for all where anything of a remotely religious subject matter can be considered “sacred”.
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