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What is the future of our traditional places of worship?
Building spaces that evoke the universally sacred and divine through the sciences and arts 

Photo: "Press Play" Tyler.World Art Exhibition, Pyla, France Sept 2021

Project proposal for art and video installations in places of traditional worship.

Drawing on the sciences and expressive arts, to evoke how

religion, art and science

can be considered as a animistic whole.

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Montage by Tyler.World with elements from pxfuel (photo-opkdp) 2021

Non-exhaustive overview of religious tradition symboles (Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, Ayyavazhi, Wiccan (goddess)

Goal of the Art Installation and Video Project

This art installation project aims to catalyse social discourse on the topic of perennial wisdom - the insight that all religious and wisdom traditions point to the same fundamental metaphysical truth, or 'deep' structure of the human experience.

Curating symbols, images and narratives from the spectrum of world cultures, religions and wisdom traditions, a "meta" map of the perennial wisdom idea can be brought to life. 

A key map or landscape chosen to guide this project is from Huston Smith (hierarchies of consciousness across inner and outer realms of reality) to invite a conversation on how might individuals and society evolve across such a concept of wisdom.

Ultimately, the vision behind the project is that our greatest societal challenges are needing a RE-ENCHANTMENT of our INTERIORS (as represented by the arts and religious traditions), as compared to more technology and more material consumption. The gift of the creative arts is in developing our imagination, an essential ingredient for creating new better futures for society.

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Potential Art Installation Location: Chapel Saint Esprit, Pyla, Gironde, France - discussions have started for collaboration in hosting the art installation

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Phase I installation in SW France - €6,000 target

Phase II and III for the international phase (multiple locations) total €33,000 budget detailed below

How the Sciences and Arts Can Provide a New Life To Multifaith Contemplative Spaces

Building a bridge between art gallery spaces and places of spiritual worship, prayer and contemplation.

Photo: "Press Play" Tyler.World Art Exhibition, Pyla, France Sept 2021

Dictionary definitions of Religion (latin religio):

  1. relego, relegěre = assmble anew, gather anew

  2. religo, religāre = to link, connect

Recognition by human beings of a higher principle on which their destiny depends; resulting intellectual and moral attitude

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Mapping the internal and external levels of being and consciousness across the world's religions. Huston Smith, with graphic by Brad Reynolds (advisor to this project)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Art and Video Outcomes

 

Creating/curating an experience

Abstractions expressing the deep structures of the human experience should be lived or experienced rather than analysed intellectually (quote from the French-American polymath Dane Rudhyar (1895-1985) who was close to the theosophical movement and part of the Transcendental Painting Group in New Mexico.

In this spirit, the creative experiments by John Oliver focus on creating a carefully curated space (at a place of worship, outdoor grounds or art gallery) that combine both artefact (the art works) and movement (immersive) through::

  • Artefacts

    • Paintings and sulpture - Across themes of evolution, portraits and sacred geometry and abstract forms 

  • Movement

    • Video - Multimedia screens / QR codes to video narratives landscapes from the www.InteriorTruth.com library - see the Video section below

    • Walking - Paths between polarities layed out across the floor of the gallery, with a colour sequence for each piece of wood (i.e. a spatial, immersive experience, representing the 'shapes' of the universal structures)

    • Immersive furniture - inviting moments of contemplation

All of the above designed with an element of play and discovery, in the experience of entering the gallery.​

Gallery Floor Layout Design Proposal: Based on the perennial widom map using wooden screens (or partitions), upon which symbols, images and narrative fragments are suspended - an immersive experience, with a directionality of progressing through the hierarchies as you walk through/between the partition screens.

Video Narrative Landscapes

Building on John Oliver's work with the video portrait portal: www.InteriorTruth.com

Integrating Technology, Data and Science

  • The ambition behind the video narratives landscapes is to integrate leading technology and data features, that can evoke the role of science. The video narratives will use a cutting edge "Sensemaking" approach from the school of complexity and anthropology, that integrates the principles of scientific inquiry with the unique qualitative data that comes from gathering authentic and unique narratives.

  • For an overview picture of the leading examples of narratives landscapes, see here: https://www.interiortruth.com/landscapes-and-dialogue

 

Progress So Far in Gathering Video Narratives​

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Narratives Video Key Reflections:

  • Curating narratives of the creative experience and narratives across religious and cultural traditionsInitial concept focus of filming artists from as many religious traditions as possible.

  • Is it possible to evoke the various points on the Perennial Wisdom Map from Huston Smith, through narratives, and especially those of artists/creatives across each of these traditions?

  • Art History: Curating film material (incl. from archives) to evoke the historical / developmental trajectry of art, with an emphasis on the spiritual dimension (see books research)

Making Sense of the Perennial Wisdom Map Through An Interactive Video Narratives Platform

  • Below is an image of a mock-up of one example of how we can spacially navigate video narratives, thanks to 'Sensemaking' maps. 

    • Similar text-based Sensemaking narratives maps have been developed and deployed for multi-national clients by John Oliver in his organisational development consulting roles. ​

  • The maps provide a rich and powerful lens in terms of how we can signify the narratives.

  • The choice of signifiers and their combinations are themselves major topics of anthropological and philosophical inquiry, and their development will be a key part of the project. 

  • https://www.interiortruth.com/perennial-wisdom-landscape

  • The video interactive map would be a unique software development, creating innovative value that complements the narratives iniatives of pionners such as French artist JR (collaboration with Time Magazine and US prisons), Yann Artus Bertrand (narrative films "Human") and Brandon Stanton's "Humans of New York", as described in detail here.

    • Such a video narratives platform would have extensive future value for a wide range of related social science / anthroplogy applications 

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PROJECT ADVISORS
Confirmed advisors for the project are the following researchers, artists, academics

 

​Key Research Themes

 

Builing on Ken Wilber's books the "Mariage of Sense and Soul": and "The Religion of Tomorrow - A vision for the future of the great traditions"

  • Are we throwing out the aesthetic senses of the divine and sacred (e.g. the rituals, symbols and myths of our traditional religions) with our eagerness for absolute rationality in this age of science?

    • Yes, the traditional myths and scriptures of the great traditions might not be scientifically true, but what universal aesthetic value do they represent?​

  • Art takes us to the 'edges' of human consciousness but how might it play a role in the evolution of consciousness?
  • Is our generation still in the process of making sense of modern / abstract art - and might abstraction point to the universal structures underlying the human experience and spirituality?

  • Can we map the evolution of art, and where might it point us to next? 

This art installation project aims to catalyse social discourse on the topic of perennial wisdom - the insight that all religious and wisdom traditions point to the same fundamental metaphysical truth, or 'deep' structure of the human experience.

Curating symbols, images and narratives from the spectrum of world cultures, religions and wisdom traditions, a "meta" map of the perennial wisdom idea can be brought to life. 

A key map or landscape chosen to guide this project is from Huston Smith (hierarchies of consciousness across inner and outer realms of reality) to invite a conversation on how might individuals and society evolve across such a concept of wisdom.

Target Outcomes

 

An explorative project guided by principles, vision and values

Having worked in the Start-Up world and been close to the venture capital process, I am wanting to embrace the complexity, ambiguity and uncertainty in such a creative endeavour. The business plan and budget forecast approach has to held in balance with the fact that the path will only unveil itself by moving forward.

Below are the two guiding statements for the project:

High Level Target Outcomes

  1. An art installation in the South of France, in partnership at a faith tradition location or in collaboration with (church, mosque, temple)

    • Following the initial installation, the works will be proposed to different locations, which include hospitals and community/public locations.​

  2. 20 to 30 video portraits / narratives that relate to the borders between the creative experience and the faith traditions 

  3. An online video narratives portal

  4. An outreach campaign through international bodies and associations working on similar themes of integrating religion, science and art (academics, universities, think tanks, charities, art galleries)

Guiding Principles, Vision and Values

  • The project is to serve the purpose of contributing to the social discourse on how we can bring together the realms of religion, science and art for a social good

  • The vision is that such integrative initiatives have a long history, and this project has to contribute to that lineage (multi-faith gatherings, world peace initiatives, Integral philosophy etc.)

  • The project seeks to establsh new connections across geographies, ethnographies and technologies

Budget

Phase I - Installation in SW France (incl. 5 - 10 video narratives)

Phase II - Digital platform (with 20+ video narratives) 

Phase III - Multiple site roll-outs (other faith locations)

Below is an outline budget of the key art work and video creation processes, plus the communication/outreach and support/advisory resources. The total estimated budget for all three phases is €33,000 over 1 year.

Phase I = €6,000

  • Shared workshop and studio space (4 months) = €2,000 

  • Time and materials (woods, paints, consumables) = €3,000 (Note #1)

  • Support and advisory - €1,000

Phase II - €14,000

  • Video work (travel for filming, editing) = €4,000 (Note #1)

  • Video landscape software development = €8,000 ((Note #2)

  • Communications and outrreach - €2,000 (Note #1)

 

Phase III - €13,000

  • Shared workshop and studio space (6 months) = €3,000 

  • Time and materials (woods, paints, consumables) = €3,000 (Note #1)

  • Video work (travel for filming, editing) = €2,000 (Note #1)

  • Video landscape software development = €2,000 ((Note #2)

  • Communications and outrreach - €2,000 (Note #1)

  • Support and advisory - €1,000

 

#1 Includes covering the artists time

#2 Based on using freelance software developers previously used in corporate client work

 

Total fundraising target of €33,000

A more detailed budget is available on request.

Return To Sponsors

Sponsors' Catalogue, News Channel and Acknowledgement

All sponsors will receive:

  • Personal newsletter with access to video blog reporting channel, behind the scenes during the development process each 3 months.

  • Sponsor acknowldegement plaque displayed at the exposition

  • Signed eposition catalogue

For Sponsor Contributions Minimum €1,500

John Oliver's Journey Leading To The Project

The 20 Year Itch

This specific project idea has been simmering for over 5 years, whilst my underlying deisre to work on creative projects having its roots 20+years ago. 

 

This sacred art project has undergone a number of evolutions in its conceptual form, whilst maintaining the foundational vision of bringing to life an art project that embraces crucial philosophical themes for our society.

Originally called "Philosophy in the Flesh", my idea was to bring together 10 philosophers, who would describe their ideal work of art - as if they had carte blanche as an artist themselves, whatever the media. I would then bring 10 established artists together for the realisation of those works. 

 

I've brought the scope now to the more immediately accessible approach of working from published key philosophical works, and that I take on the practical realisation of the art/film work.

The chosen conceptual cornerstone is the Perennial Wisdom map by Huston Smith, charting how the major religious and wisdom tradition share the same underlying structures of both interior (individual) and external (nature) worlds.

The seeds for the idea came from discovering the writings of Ken Wilber in 2003, the contrasts in my family's spirituality (deeply catholic mother, aethistic father (with interests in literature and philosophy) and an ordained buddhist darmachari brother), and my professional work in organisational development (working with developmental psychology and complexity sciences).

My Journey in Developmental Psychology, Organisational Development, Social Systems Complexity and Narratives

Having focused heavily on the sciences in my education, a revelation during my engineering studies at university in the UK was reading E F Schumacher's "Small is Beautiful". A fascination of the crossroads of developmental economics, ecology and social justice/equality triggered my organising a conference at the university on climate change (in 1991) with the participation of a leading UK media figure, and leaving the aeronautical sector I was bound for (after 2 years of accelerated management training), to join the overseas developmental charity that E F Schumacher had founded.  

4 years at the charity with projects in Ghana and Nepal however brought me face-to-face with the realities of social change, especially in the context of constrasting cultural value frameworks (e.g. our definition in the West of the "Good Life", development or social progress can't be projected onto other cultures without inherent biases).

I therefore returned to a mainstream careerpath in industry, working in France and the USA, to go onto completing an MBA in 2001. Whilst working in a Start-Up for 4 years, I continued a track of research started at the MBA into a variety of company turnaround case studies, that emphasised self-organisation and democratic principles. My differentiation was intended to be in the longitudinal nature of the case study interviews, which however revealed that my idealistic initial hypothesis of the universal 'good' of democratic principles in organisations, as being highly flawed.

 

The language and frameworks however of Ken Wilber's Integral Theory provided a powerful approach to interpreting the complexity, tensions and contradictions in my case study researrch findings. In 2008 I went to visit Ken Wilber in Denver to discuss my book project using the developmental lens (5 years before a very similar case study book by Frederick Laloux, "Reinventing Organisations"). It was apprent to me that although I could explore lots of fascinating angles with the Integral Theory lens (All Quadrants, Levels, Lines, States and Types), my book project didn't have a convincing hypothesis or robust approach to the research data validity claims (interviews with visionary turn-around CEOs were more prone to propoganda and biases in contrast to the social research vigour I was trying to aim for). 

 

I therefore captured the research on the Organisation5point0 website, and moved onto to 'being in action' with regards actually working hands-on with organisations in organisational development and business psychology, founding the boutique consulting company Human-Equity Ltd in 2009.

It was during this time that I qualified as a coach using the Post-Piagetian developmental psychology tool from Lectica USA, based on very robust metrics on how adults' cognitive capacities can develop (for whom Wilber was an advisor, and built on extensive academic research from amongst others Kurt Fischer's Dynamic Skill Theory, from the Harvard Graduate School of Education). 

The journey as a consultant with Human-Equity Ltd was full of deep learning and often times painful lessons in engaging with clients on complex topics, whilst ensuring the commercial viability of the offer. However, it did lead to an incredibly rich intellectual journey in collaborating with thought leaders in complexity sciences for client work.

In particular, and in distinct complement to Integral Theory, was applying Sensemaking principles for change projects, leveraging narratives and anticipating agents' biases. I was delighted to be bringing anthropological and sociological insights to our practices, and challenging the dominant 'engineering' mindset to organisational management.

 

What became clear however, was in all of my organisational development work I saw dangers in how supposed deeper understanding of employee behaviour and psychology, under the guise of 'making the workplace more humanistic' could lead to greater encroachment of the organisation in "designing" the employee experience for the ultimate its commercial ends.

There seemed to be often a conflation of 'aesthetic' choices for the human experience in organisations that were only justifiable if they improved 'performance'. 

The Role of Aesthetics

Although a very robust cognitive sciences tool and metric, my experience with Lectica revealed first hand the limitations of the cognitive development dimension (people can reflect in very high-order complex ways about morally corrupt concepts).

 

More broader 'ego-development' tools (for example Bill Torbert's Leadership Development Framework, Susan Cook-Greuter's extension of Jane Loevinger's research) do seem to incorporate a more integrated whole-person measure (see last section* here, evoking the higher stages of ego and notions of greater breadth/depth of consciouness, towards descriptions that resonate with many writings on spirituality), but still, the aesthetic dimension appears little explored.

Hence my conviction of the opportunity to complement this field of the human potential movement, with a deeper exploration of spirituality and the arts.

*Footote to the reference to Jane Loevinger above:

The ego development map proposed by developmental psychologist Jane Loevinger (1918-2008) conceptualizes a theory based on Erik Erikson's psychosocial model and the works of Harry Stack Sullivan (1892-1949) in which "the ego was theorized to mature and evolve through stages across the lifespan as a result of a dynamic interaction between the inner self and the outer environment". Loevinger's theory contributes to the delineation of ego development, which goes beyond the fragmentation of trait psychology and looks at personality as a meaningful whole.

See Ken Wilber's Integral Psychology for an extensive curation and comparison of developmental models

A Connection to My Ancestors - The Debate of Arts, Science and Religion in the 19th Century

What Brought Me To These Themes Behind The Art Works?

When reflecting on this question an immediate influence that comes to mind were the stark contrasts of worldviews within my family - my mother a devout practicing Catholic (having convered from Anglicanism in her 20s); my atheist father, and my ordained dhamachari Buddhist elder brother.

However, I've always had a sense of how the deepest questions in life also were at the heart of my Great Great Grandfather's artistic journey (John Brett 1831-1902). As part of the Pre-Raphealite Brotherhood, he had close ties to the prominent art critic, mentor and patron, John Ruskin. 

The artists of the mid-to-late 19th century were experiencing the first dynamic of threat or reinforcement posed to traditional Christian belief by the advances in the study and sciences of astronomy and geology.  The enhanced appreciation of the vastness of the cosmos and the long aeons of geological time were creating a polarity of increased exaltation of God's creation, or, proof of his non-existance.

 

Of course Darwin then firmly establish the scientific principles of inquiry and understanding within the field of biology with his publication of On the Origin of Species, in 1859 - exactly at the same period that my Great Great Grandfather was establishing his career as an artist.

An ‘eternal note of sadness’ at the loss of the possibility of finding divinity in nature, the loss of religious faith, and disillusionment with human progress (1) was felt by many artists-as-observers and critics, Indeed John Brett who was a devout Christian at the begining of his career, was later to loose his faith. John Ruskin too experienced deep struggles with his faith, creating distress and depression (2),

At the heart of my art project above, is a call for a renewal of asthetics, that transcends and includes the sciences, and therefore I hope, in some small way connecting to my Great Great Grandfather's journey, and bringing my mother's, father's and eldest brother's perspectives onto the same sensemaking landscape of the human condition.

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John Brett - Autoportrait 1883

  1. Quote from Christiana Payne, ‘Art, Science and Religion’, in Christiana Payne (ed.), In Focus: Pegwell Bay, Kent – a Recollection of October 5th 1858–60 by William Dyce, Tate Research Publication, 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/research/publications/in-focus/pegwell-bay-kent-william-dyce/art-science-religion, accessed 19 October 2021.

  2. Malleson, Michael L (1992) John Ruskin his theology and faith, Durham theses, Durham University. Available at Durham E-Theses Online: http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/5767/

ANNEX SECTIONS

RESEARCH TOPICS FOR THE ART WORKS

 

Charting the Developmental Path of Spirituality Through the History of Art

Applying scientifiic principles to the macro picture of evolution, spirituality and art (aesthetics and creativity)

My personal interest in these two lenses of art and spirituality is through my great-great grandfather being part of the Pre-Raphaelites Victorian art movement, and what they represented in terms of the evolution of art (breaking away from formulistic, mechanistic approach first adopted by Mannerist artists who succeeded Raphael and Michelangelo).

How art reveals the evolving edge of human thinking: Ref. Leonard Shalin (Art and Physics)

Wilber's critique of Houston Smith - missing the developmental trajectory of consciousness

Inquires and Hypotheses:

  • What is the visual and felt experience when seeing the curation of symbols, images and narratives across such diverse cultures, wisdom traditions and religions in such proximity?

  • Is there an "arrow" of spiritual development or evolution?

    • With the shadow elements at each developmental level creating turbulence, how reliably can we even evoke a notion of developmental directionality?​

  • What happens when such a development becomes conscious of itself?

  • Is there an opportunity to create new types of social / community spaces based on the principles of universal spirituality, supported by the creative / arts lens?

Trajectory of spirituality in art

  • How can scientific principles be applied to art and spirituality?

  • Is the notion of hierachies, trajectories and development the scientific perspective?

Counter Hypotheses

  • Development / evolutionary ideas are value-laden and inherently biased

  • The artist's bias is inherent in the motives and framing of the project (caucasian, middle-class male)

  • Interfaith initiatives such as this are a form of spiritual materialism, cherry picking and skimming each faith/tradition, from an oberserver's vs. practioner's perspective

Exploring How the Development of Consciouness Happens in a Relationship Between Inner and Outer Realms

The dynamics of polarities in development

Taking for example the perennial wisdom map of Huston Smith charting the Outer realms of reality (social, physical universe, gaia) in the upper half and Inner realm (interior consciousness) across the religious traditions, hypothising on the human experience of these two halves of the circle being in unison (i.e. to experience the fundamental unity of the universe, one has to develop a deep, inner consciousness)

Ego Death-Rebirth Cycles On The Path of Development

And how the creative process is a uniquely powerful avenue to experience the generative cycle of ego death and 're'-connection of body-mind-spirit

The creative experience as a painful, challenging and humbling journey.

  • Getting past the sterotypical image that the creative spirit only comes from people who lead risky, troubled lives, involving for example drugs - trauma and drugs can certainly plunge people into the urge to be creative, but it is certainly not the only route.

  • Contrasting this to the archetypal reading of individual personalities...naturally creative personalities vs. analaytical / pragmatic archetypes

Navigating the Good, the True and the Beautiful

 

Discerning perspectives between the arts, sciences and moral (political) spheres

 

By helping to clarify from which validity claim our discourse is coming from, we can appreciate the creative tensions between them, as compared to the outright wars that tend to take place.

Putting forth the idea that even though initiatives in dialogue between the arts and sciences are bold and important steps, for civic discourse to be effective, all realms of the Arts, Sciences and Morals (culture, politics/justice*) need to be held together.

*"Justice" has been proposed by Integral community researchers as a separate, 4th quadrant domain from the moral quadrant.

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Art Works Mockups and Prototypes by Tyler
The Good, the True and the Beautiful - Catchedral alter in Perigord, France; London Southbank office block; Giant Sequoia tree

The Unique Role Of The Arts In Both Individual and Social Development

Individual and socio-political-economic development have to work hand-in-hand

All art should have a purpose - a position that is often debated, but for the context of this project, art is taken to have a necessary didactic (in a positive sense vs propaganda), apolitical role, exposing our world through fresh, multiple and contrasting lenses.

  • Desribing the contemporary aesthetic crisis (Reclaiming Art - JF Martel)

  • Exploring the role that the arts have in terms of ego development

  • The creative experience as an ego journey (ref. Anton Ehrenzweig)

  • The spiritual journey uniting body, mind and spirit as an ego-death (ref. spoken to across traditions all the way through to the Matrix films)

  • Aesthetics as a developmental line (ref. Howard Gardner)

 

Catalysing Civic Discourse

Discourse as a developmental practice, essential to the future of our collective systems

Leveraging philosophical visions from Harbermas' Communicative Action to Neo-Piagetian developmental discourse (increasing levels of perspective), the goal of this project is to support and catalyse new levels of social discourse, as a means to raising collective consciousness.

  • Making the case for developmental trajectories (both individual and collective ref. Wilber)

  • Development levels as increasing consciousness

  • Key distinctions between individual and social developmental maps (ref. Integral Psychology)

  • Leveraging social narratives (and even making captures of micro-narraties into forms of discourse)

 

Driven by a conviction of the power of ideas and narratives (e.g. Robert Schiller in 'narrative economics)' to change attitudes, lives and the world (e.g. is global warming happening 'to us' or 'for us'?).

An Art Gallery Experience Inspired by The "Temple' That Hilma Af Kliny Imagined

 

Art's Spiritual Significance Translating To A Gallery As Temple

The fascinating synchronicities around Hilma af Klint's record-breaking exhibition at the NY Guggenheim (Oct 2018 to April 2019):

  • An instrumental figure in the founding of the Guggenheim Foundation and Museum, Hilla Rebay, having a deep background in perennial philosophy /  theosophical thought

  • She envisioned of a “museum-temple,” where viewers could commune with abstract art.

  • Hilla Rebay and Solomon Guggenheim's commissioning in 1943 of Frank Lloyd Wright to create an innovative design with open plan and ramp spiraling toward the light serve as a physical manifestation of the utopian ideals of nonobjectivity. 

  • af Kilnt used the image of the spiral to denote progress or development....how appropriate that her first major exhibition should be in such a temple like space speaking directly to development.

 

Sacred Art Space as Echoed From the Rothko Chapple to Alex Grey's Chapel of Sacred Mirrors to Theaster Gates' Bristol UK Sanctum​

​The Architectural Research Question

From the Liverpool School of Architecture paper  Andrew Crompton (2013)

The architecture of multifaith spaces: God leaves the building,

The Journal of Architecture, 18:4, 474-496, DOI: 10.1080/13602365.2013.821149

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13602365.2013.821149

Key quotes:

  • There are often at least six of traditions represented in multifaith worship locations: Christianity; Islam; Judaism; Hinduism; Sikhism; Buddhism

    • more often nine: adding Jainism; Baha’I; Zoroastrianism. From time to time Taoism and Shinto appear, as do Native American religions; Pagans; Druids; Adventists; Humanists—not to mention people of no faith who are sometimes represented by a blank space

  • These universal interfaces with God are not, as one might have thought, a sublime expression of a deep unity of which individual religions are merelya particular expression. Here is a building problem for which architects seem to have no answer. Are these blank white rooms even architecture at all?

    • Why is it so difficult to transcend different faiths and create places that are sacred for all?

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Articles, Books, Figures, Films, Documentaries

JF MARTEL
Art is more than mere ornament or entertainment; it is a way, one leading to what is most profound in us. Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice places art alongside languages and the biosphere as a thing endangered by the onslaught of predatory capitalism, spectacle culture, and myopic technological progress.


CHARLENE SPRETNAK
This book demonstrates that numerous prominent artists in every period of the modern era were expressing spiritual interests when they created celebrated works of art. This magisterial overview insightfully reveals the centrality of an often denied and misunderstood element in the cultural history of modern art.


ANTON EHRENZWEIG
Ehrenzweig wrote The Psychoanalysis of Artistic Vision and Hearing (1953) and The Hidden Order of Art (1967). His ideas can be summarized as the discovery of the organizing role of the unconscious mind in any act of creativity and an analysis of the layered structure of the unconscious mind and of the dynamic mental processes which an artist undergoes in the creative act.


ALAIN DE BOTON
Religion for Atheists: A non-believer's guide to the uses of religion is a book by Alain de Botton published in 2012. It argues that while supernatural claims made by religion are false, some aspects of religion are still useful and can be applied in secular life and society.


BRAD REYNOLDS

Published by Integral World here.

ETHERIC CHRIST GLIMPSES

Blog entry by Bradford Riley. The etheric body, ether-body, æther body, a name given by neo-Theosophy to a vital body or subtle body propounded in esoteric philosophies as the first or lowest layer in the "human energy field" or aura. It is said to be in immediate contact with the physical body, to sustain it and connect it with "higher" bodies.

THE MODERN ART MUSEUM AS A PLACE OF RESPECTFUL DEBATE - Bordeaux Museum of Modern Art

"It is urgent that the museum become a peaceful place of dialogue and exchange. We must therefore reconfigure the relationship that we talk about geography, people, societal injuries, and give ourself time to discuss claims calmly on the modes of governance, the questions of representation and all of these subjects extremely complexes that talk about the schizophrenia of our lives. "She wishes to strengthen this debate on contact with the thinking of the artists, and go back so up to sensitive experiences works where interiority is intertwined and exteriority. Which implies another approach to the museum: "I would like to transform the large nave which refers to the cathedral, to the sacred, to the solemnity, to make it a more space close to the agora, to public space, because creation has evolved a lot and even more the uses that audiences make of it. I would like to substitute this image of gravity and of majesty to an image that unfolds toward a elsewhere which would be that of open speech, which does not dry up the debate but feeds it and constantly renews."

READING LIST

  • Claydon, David. Connecting Across Cultures: Sharing the Gospel Across Cultural and Religious Boundaries. Melbourne: Acorn Press Ltd, 2000, 83-94.

  • Dickson, John. A Spectator’s Guide to World Religions: An Introduction to the Big Five. Sydney: Blue Bottle Books, 2004, 17-46.

  • Along with the Hidden Order of Art the three classics of art psychology are Rudolf Arnheim's Art and Visual Perception and Herschel Chipp's Theories of Modern Art.