A Question of World Views

The world view of different cultures as seen through the eyes of popular artists (some users may need to scroll down to see the remainder of the post):












El Greco
Van Gogh
Dali


The point? The worldview which gives rise to a popular artist like Dali is deeply distorted.

Post-modernists have claimed that a religious culture distorts someone's view of the world. Just to look at the art, it would seem that an anti-religious culture distorts the worldview. Later artists show a loss focus, or a loss of the sense of beauty or reality. Finally artists like Dali actually prize deliberate distortion (for its novelty or boldness, or breaking the old tired cliches of the dogmatic and rigid past, of course). It's all very intersting and fun as an experiment. (For the record, I actually enjoy the "melting clocks" ... but not nearly as much as El Greco's works.)

The same trends can be seen in a culture's scholarship, but the trends are perhaps seen most clearly in a culture's art. The "melting clocks" reminds me a bit of the Jesus Seminar's view of the gospels.

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Comments

Layman said…
Great post, WF. The use of the paintings makes the point very powerful.

Do you think Christian concern for reality arises from our faith in a God who sets a firm foundation of reality?
Weekend Fisher said…
You've got a point there. I'd mention our trust that nature and creation are good, also our trust that we will find that reality is both meaningful and holy. Sometimes, Dali's works seem almost like a naturalist's revenge on reality for having disappointed/betrayed any hope ... There's more to be said but I'd hate to start rambling in the comments section ...

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