Artistic Theology or Theology of Art (A Critical Study of George Pattison)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate professor at the University of Religions and Denominations

2 PhD Candidate of Ethics at the University of Qom


In the following paper, we explore George Pattison’s ideas, and focus on his theory about the art-religion relationship. It seems, he designs a new way and prepares a new idea about religious dimension of art, which he has called ‘theology of art’. In constituting this new idea, Pattison refers to Zen Buddhism, with some contents of Existentialism, and distances himself from Romanticism and Postmodernism. According to him, art can provide an aesthetic view, can cultivate its receptors, and finally can lead human kind to the spiritual journey. But if we consider his approach, it is obvious that he couldn’t succeed to reach an authentic and reliable viewpoint. It seems we can call his theory an artistic theology, in contrast to theology of art.


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