The Relevance of Religious Art Today

“Why should the devil have all the best tunes?” asked Methodist preacher George Whitefield in 1774. But did the devil ever? And does he still? As conservative and dated as ‘religious art’ might seem in the West (where religious practices have been somewhat marred by schisms, crusades, inquisitions, Nietzsche, existentialism, and that ever-pesky science), I think the paganity to which Whitefield referred has less of a cloven-hoofed power-stance over the arts than the reality of the situation might suggest. Not only were many of the modern antecedents and influences of contemporary Western artists religious, but a great number of today’s practitioners remain resolutely Christian in their outlook.

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A Confession: Sex and Catholic Guilt

When I lost my virginity, I felt guilty. My first time was with my boyfriend and I’d thought about it for a while beforehand, so I felt ready. But when it actually happened, it felt wrong. I remember afterwards, we were naked and watched Clueless with a tub of ice-cream. Lying there, I felt empty. I don’t know what I’d been expecting. Some surge of feelings, some change in myself? I guess I’d at least expected to feel something, but instead I felt hollow and wrong. The worst thing was that I knew that these feelings were not my fault. Continue reading A Confession: Sex and Catholic Guilt

Review: ‘Tehran Taboo’

Having lived in a Muslim country all my life, the contrast between the oppressive Islamic society and the individual lives depicted in Tehran Taboo is all too familiar. The movie follows the lives of three characters: Pari, a woman with a six-year-old son forced into prostitution due to the lack of financial support from her imprisoned, drug addicted husband; Babak, a musician who has sex … Continue reading Review: ‘Tehran Taboo’

Exploring An Ancient Time: Jerusalem

A web of narrow winding backstreets connected the city, tumbling from one bar to another; outside one bar, we stopped for a beer (quite expensive) and chatted with locals, as a live music band played variations on Grease’s “Summer Lovin’” and The Jungle Book’s “I wanna be like you”. It was late, but the night was only just beginning. No – this wasn’t any Southern … Continue reading Exploring An Ancient Time: Jerusalem

Alexander McQueen: His Spirit Lives On (Part Three)

For Part One of this article click here. Sarah Burton’s most recent A/W 13-14 collection saw her explore the idea of religion through her work, specifically an in depth look at Catholicism.  Her dresses came in pairs, ranging from communion gowns, to nuns and cardinals, to popes and finally to angels, all imbued with exceptional craftsmanship the likes of which are normally found in the … Continue reading Alexander McQueen: His Spirit Lives On (Part Three)