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Theology and modern Irish art

30 June, 2010

Gesa E. Thiessen explores central issues in the dialogue between theology and art, paying special attention to the spiritual aspects of a number of modern Irish painters.

304 pp, Columba Press, 1999. To purchase this book online, go to www.columba.ie.


List of paintings
1. Theology and art: the background
2. The artist speaks: theology and spirituality in the life of the painter
3. Images of transcendence: a theological interpretation of selected paintings
4. Conclusion: towards theology of art


Theology and modern Irish art is an exploration of modern visual art as a ‘locus theologicus’. The author’s guiding interest is to demonstrate that the work of art, the visual image, like the written word, is and can be used as a challenging and relevant source in theology. It is an extensive, pioneering study of the work and lives of ten leading modern Irish painters from a theological perspective: Mainie Jellet, Jack B. Yeats, Louis le Brocquy, Gerard Dillon, Colin Middleton, Patrick Collins, Tony O’Malley, Patrick Scott, Patrick Graham, Patrick Hall. Extensive research and numerous interviews contribute a unique insight into the faith, spirituality and theological aspects of the artists and their works.

The author introduces readers to theologians who have actively engaged with art in their work. She is concerned with central issues in the wider dialogue between theology, art and aesthetics: the contemporary context in which theologians and artists operate, the role of the imagination in theology, method and hermeneutics in a theology of art, the quest for holistic theology, and theological dimensions in twentieth-century art.

CHAPTER 1: Theology and art: the background

Ultimate reality in art – Paul Tillich (1)
If one wants to map the background, wider field and state of research on theology and modern visual art, Paul Tillich immediately springs to mind as one who played a decisive and leading part in the whole discussion. In his autobiography of 1967, Tillich, one of the foremost theologians of this century, described himself as a ‘theologian of the boundaries’. One of these boundaries was his lifelong engagement with art in his lectures and writings, and it is he who set the agenda for the dialogue between art, especially modern art, and theology.

Today Tillich is perhaps best remembered for his theology of culture, a theology which emphasises that the religious dimension is present in all spiritual and intellectual life. Tillich maintained that ‘religion is the soul (or substance) of culture’ while ‘culture is the form (or expression) of religion’. (2)

Born into a well-respected Lutheran pastor’s family, Tillich soon began to question his bourgeois background and privileged upbringing. Consequently, and unusual for a theologian, he chose a bohemian life-style among artists, journalists and actors in Berlin after World War I. As he observed, ‘the hallmarks of this group were an obvious lack of certain bourgeois conventions in thought and behaviour, an intellectual radicalism, and a remarkable capacity for ironical self-criticism … they were anti-militaristic and influenced by Nietzsche, expressionism and psychoanalysis’. (3) Psychoanalysis, existentialism, expressionism and socialism were to influence Tillich in his own philosophical and theological journey, i.e. in his theology of culture and his theology of art.

The First World War was to be the decisive turning point in Tillich’s life. As military chaplain he was to come face to face with immense human suffering. It was in this situation that he discovered visual art, an experience that was crucial for him as a reaction and counterbalance to the ugliness of destruction and horrors of war. The cheap reproductions in the magazines in the field bookstores would take his mind off the blood and death at the Western Front. At the end of the war he finally got the chance to see the original of one of these reproductions, ‘Madonna with Singing Angels’ (1477) by Sandro Botticelli in Berlin. It was to him a unique moment of ecstatic revelation, which, as he wrote, ‘affected his whole life’. (4)

Tillich realised that his theology from then on should address relevant contemporary issues in an exploration of the possibilities of a new theonomy (Gottesgesetzlichkeit) as he termed it. (5) For Tillich theonomy meant essentially ‘the state of culture under the impact of the Spiritual Presence’. Theonomy exists where life is guided by the Spirit, where creativity can flourish, where justice, truth and wholeness are sought. The church, the community of the New Being in Christ, in particular, is the place where theonomy is realised. However, Tillich was only too aware that the church is not only the community of the New Being but subject to human conflicts and thus always under threat of becoming heteronomous. With regard to art, Tillich concluded that it is expressionism, rather than naturalism or idealism, which is theonomous as it is most able of reaching into ultimate reality by breaking through ‘both the realistic acceptance of the given and the idealistic anticipation of the fulfilled’. (6) I will return to Tillich’s idea of expressionism in more detail below.

Concerning the relationship between religion and culture another central aspect in Tillich’s theology is to be mentioned here, namely his method of correlation. Fundamentally Tillich held that systematic theology proceeds in making an analysis of the human situation where existential questions arise, and then demonstrates that in the symbols of the Christian message the answers to these questions are provided. His method arose from his basic intention of relating and making relevant theological reflection to the more secular disciplines and spheres of culture, such as socialism or psychoanalysis. Tillich’s theology is hence an apologetics in its attempt to make Christian faith attractive to the ‘cultured among the despisers’ of religion in the twentieth century. (7) He viewed the relationship between theology and art in similar correlative terms.

However, Tillich’s method – or, better, his formulation of his method has been rightly criticised by David Tracy who comments that Tillich does not, in fact, propose a method of correlation but one which ‘juxtaposes questions from the ‘situation’ with answers from the ‘message’. (8) Contemporary theology, which takes human experience and the Christian kerygma as its sources, naturally needs to look critically at both the questions and the answers given in each of these. A genuine method of correlation therefore implies, as Tracy points out, that it must be ‘capable of correlating the principal questions and answers of each source’. In relationship to theology and art this means that images do not simply pose relevant questions for the theologian but rather that they also provide answers and thus challenge and further theological insight. Tracy concludes, that Tillich, despite his formulation, actually employed ‘an interpretative correlation of the questions and answers of the message with the questions and answers of the situation’. (9)

Tillich insisted that assertions about God are always analogous or symbolic. According to him the only statement we can make about God which is not symbolic is that ‘God is being-itself or the absolute’. (l0) For him the analogy of being (analogia entis) is not only ‘the form in which every knowledge of revelation must be expressed’, but ‘our only justification of speaking at all about God’. In other words, a ‘segment of finite reality’ functions as the basis for any concrete statement about the infinite. In this way it becomes symbolic, since the meaning of a symbol is ‘negated by that to which it points’ and at the same time it is affirmed by it as ‘an adequate basis for pointing beyond itself’. (11) Hence for Tillich Christ on the Cross is the ultimate symbol as his self-surrendering death points towards the resurrection and thus to life and unity with God.

Symbols point to and participate in what they symbolise. Like artistic styles, they live and die, and are replaced by new ones. (12) Tillich stresses that traditional religious symbols can be validly used in modern art if they are in the artist’s very being, i.e. if they are alive for him or her and are therefore used creatively to express ultimate concern. In their revelatory power symbols applied in art can point beyond the purely aesthetic to ultimate reality. (13)

On the 17th of February, 1959, six years before his death, Tillich delivered one of his most important lectures on art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York on ‘Art and Ultimate Reality’ where he stated that he had ‘always learned more from pictures than from theological books’. In the light of this rather significant and even provocative statement, some relevant aspects of Tillich’s ideas on the relationship between religion and art will now be considered.

Religious experience and artistic styles
Before we look at Tillich’s discussion of the relationship between religious experience and styles in art it is necessary to briefly ascertain his understanding of religion and style. Tillich defines religion fundamentally as ‘being ultimately concerned’ about one’s self and one’s world. As he sees it ultimate reality underlies all reality. According to him there are three ways by which people can relate to ultimate reality, two being indirect, philosophy (metaphysics) and art, and the direct way, which is religion. Ultimate reality ‘becomes manifest through ecstatic experiences of a concrete-revelatory character and is expressed in symbols and myths’. (14)

In a more particularly Christian sense, religion implies the existence of (a) God with a set of symbols, rituals and doctrinal formulations. In the discussion of religion and art both the basic and the more particular definition of religion, need to be kept in mind.

It is to be suggested that the most valuable and influential aspect in Tillich’s theology of art is his conviction that the manifestation of ultimate reality in the visual arts is not dependent on the use of traditional religious subject matter. This statement may not sound very revolutionary to us today, yet it is momentous because it really opened up modern (secular) art to theological interpretation. Tillich’s view that modern ‘profane’ works of art can convey ultimate concern – often much more so than the so-called sacred art produced for places of worship – is in line with his central idea proposed in his theology of culture that the religious is present in all spheres of spiritual (geistigen) life.

In ‘Art and Ultimate Reality’ he establishes five types of religious experience, which he correlates with five artistic styles. Tillich understands styles as pointing ‘to a self-interpretation of man, thus answering the question of the meaning of life’. (15) In a work of art artists reveal through their style their own ultimate concern as well as that of their group and their period. Tillich held that the naturalistic, the idealistic and the expressionistic styles were the most important ones in the history of art.

1. The first and most fundamental type of religious experience is ‘sacramental’, i.e. ‘ultimate reality appears as the holy which is present in all kinds of objects, in things, persons, events’. (16) Tillich relates this kind of religious experience, the most universal one, to ‘numinous realism’, a style which, as he perceives it, depicts ‘ordinary things, ordinary persons … but in a way that makes them strange, mysterious, laden with power’. According to Tillich, artists in whose works these tendencies are evident are de Chirico, Klee and Chagall.

2. ‘Mystical religious experience’, the second type, is actualised in Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, Neo-Platonism and, ‘with some strong qualifications’ in Christianity. Here religious experience seeks to reach ultimate reality without a mediation of things. This type of religious experience corresponds to abstract art, where things are merged into visual unity. Figures may be missing altogether, or are replaced by cubes, planes, colour, line ‘as symbols for that which transcends all reality …’ (17) Tillich mentions Jackson Pollock and Kandinsky as examplifiers of this style.

3. The ‘prophetic-critical’ type of religious experience ‘goes beyond the sacramental basis of all religion’. Holiness without social justice has no room in this type of living one’s religion. It corresponds to ‘critical realism’ in art, which reveals a critique of society, politics and/or the church. Here Tillich refers to Ensor, Oaumier, Grosz, Beckmann, painters who engaged in radical, often sarcastic, social-political critique.

4. The fourth type, ‘religious humanism’, seeks the divine in the human and the human in the divine here and now, despite all human weakness. It ‘expects the full realisation of this unity in history…’ (18) Idealist art, as in Greek Classicism or in the Renaissance, for example, relates to this type of religious experience. Works by Perugino, Piero della Francesca, Poussin and Ingres are mentioned by Tillich in this context.

5. The last type of religious experience, that Tillich mentions, is the ‘ecstatic-spiritual’ one that is anticipated in the Hebrew Scriptures, and ‘is the religion of the New Testament and of many movements in later church history’. (19) The ecstatic-spiritual experience is characterised by its dynamic nature both in disruption and creation. Tillich perceives it as ‘realistic and at the same time mystical’; it ‘criticises and at the same time anticipates’. He pointed out that as a Protestant theologian he was convinced that this religious element which appears everywhere in ferment ‘comes into its own within Christianity’. (20) This type of religious experience he sees revealed in expressionist art, a style which is marked by realism and mysticism, creation and disruption, stillness and dynamism. Tillich points out that the expressive element can be found in the art of the catacombs, in some Byzantine, Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque art and particularly in twentieth century Expressionism. Here it should also be mentioned that Tillich’s view of the power of modern Expressionism was much influenced by his engagement in the politics in the inter-war years in Germany and his socialist leanings. He regarded Expressionist art very much in political, revolutionary terms as anti-capitalist and anti-bourgeois in an awareness of the crisis in society after World War I and of the Russian Revolution: ‘Expressionism proper arose with a revolutionary consciousness and … force. The individual forms of things were dissolved, not in favour of subjective impressions but in favour of objective metaphysical expression. The abyss of Being was to be evoked in lines, colours and plastic forms.’ (21)

It is an acknowledgement of the continuing importance of Tillich’s writings on art that Gunter Rombold (Austria), art historian, philosopher and theologian, should refer positively to Tillich’s article ‘Art and Ultimate Reality’ in his book Der Streit um das Bild, Zum Verhältnis von moderner Kunst und Religion. However, Rombold observes that Tillich postulates the correlation between religion and art to be an entirely positive one. The question for Rombold is whether ‘there are not also anti- or areligious tendencies in art in which the relationship with religion seems to have broken up’. (22) This is a valid observation. In this context Rombold mentions the Surrealists, some of whom revealed anti-religious/Christian tendencies in their writings and paintings. One might suggest that Rombold’s observation indirectly hints at what will be discussed in the following section, namely Tillich’s somewhat problematic method of correlating artistic styles and religious experiences in broad sweeps without thorough engagement with individual works of art.

Religious art is expressionistic
As briefly mentioned above, Tillich maintained that the expressionist element ‘has the strongest affinity to religious art. It breaks through both the realistic acceptance of the given and the idealistic anticipation of the fulfilled. And beyond both of them it reaches into the depths of ultimate reality’. (23) In this way expressionist art is, as he sees it, theonomous insight into reality as it communicates something of ultimate meaning, of the Spirit and of transcendence. Tillich believed all specifically religious art to be expressionistic throughout human history, ‘expressing not the subjectivity of the artist but the ground of being itself’. (24 )In 1921 he had already proposed a similar idea when he wrote that ‘Expressionism wishes to reveal an objective spiritual awareness’. (25) His emphasis on the objective element was, as will be demonstrated below, another problematic aspect in Tillich’s perception. of expressionism, especially twentieth century Expressionism to which he referred in this context.

Certainly Tillich had a tremendous love for Expressionist art. However, his interpretation and theological conclusions of its aims have been criticised on a number of points. His understanding of this movement was, in fact, derived from his own anthropology, his political views, as outlined above, and his theology of culture. Tillich’s central anthropological position holds that the human is estranged from his/her true being, that in existence he/she is not what he/she essentially is or ought to be. But this estrangement points towards salvation in which ‘the division between essential goodness and actual existence is overcome’. (26) This appears in ‘the manifestation of what concerns us ultimately’, i.e. in revelation. Revelation and salvation are hence synonymous. His theology of culture is therefore ‘a theoretical reconciliation of the two spheres which are not alien to each other essentially but which are estranged in fact’. (27)

According to Tillich, Expressionism, more than other styles, is specifically religious as in it human estrangement as well as the hope for salvation are manifested. Tillich mentions Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ as the ‘greatest Protestant picture’ since 1900 because ‘such is the force of its portrayal of estrangement that the longing for reunion is inevitably raised’. (28) The work, he suggests, reflects the Protestant principle of the human as simul justus et peccator. In this context Tillich also refers to painters such as Nolde and Munch.

While one would certainly agree with Tillich that a considerable number of Expressionist works of art depict human estrangement, his method of arriving at such a statement as well as his assumption that these artists deliberately set out with an objective intention of portraying ‘the ground of being itself’ through distortion of natural form is too simplistic. Expressionism was not a co-ordinated movement. The artists hardly set out to reveal ‘an objective spiritual awareness’, as Tillich puts it. (29) Not only the different styles within Expressionism prove this but also the fact that painters like Kirchner, Schmidt-Rottluff and Marc disliked the term. Schmidt-Rottluff wrote: ‘I know that I have no programme, only the unaccountable longing to grasp what I see and feel, and to find the purest means of expression for it.’ (30) Lyonel Feininger, one of the few artists who explicitly acknowledged himself as an Expressionist, wrote in 1917: ‘Each individual work serves as an expression of our most personal state of mind at that moment and of the inescapable, imperative need for release by means of an appropriate act of creation …’ (31)

It becomes clear that Tillich, in his focus on the objective dimension in Expressionism, did not sufficiently recognise the important aspect of subjectivity in modern artistic creation. It can be quite easily explained how Tillich’s somewhat problematic hermeneutical approach came about. Through his World War I experiences he knew suffering on a very personal level, i.e. human estrangement, which would feature so strongly in his theology. He stepped on shaky ground by taking this theology as a point of departure for a theology of art. Instead of analysing works of art so as then to arrive at conclusions on the religious dimension in art, he applied his anthropological and theological views directly to Expressionist paintings. Dillenberger points out that because of this approach of interpretation Tillich’s theory was to find little favour with art historians and philosophers of art. (32) It is thus a theology of art which is not derived from and centred in a detailed consideration of works of art but rather one which was significantly shaped by his own preconceived theological thought. One might suggest therefore that the method of correlation applied in his theology of art leaves itself open to a critique not unlike the one Tracy, amongst others, made about Tillich’s formulation of the method of correlation as such.

Ideas on modern church interiors
Having examined Tillich’s views on the relationship between religion and art, and particularly his theories on Expressionism, I now want to look briefly at his concept of modern church architecture and interiors since here one finds his ideas concerning the actual inclusion of art into church life. Tillich’s first love was, in fact, architecture; as a very young man he had even desired to become an architect.

In his article ‘Contemporary Protestant Architecture’ (1962) Tillich develops his ideas on the design of a Protestant church and its interior. Over thirty years later one notices that, especially in the light of Vatican II and the ecumenical movement, his emphasis on the ‘Protestant’ aspect of church design no longer quite applies, as modern church architecture and interiors, whether Catholic or Protestant, display very similar characteristics, i.e. simplicity and facilitation of a sense of community. (33) His views, as will be seen below, are relevant to various Christian traditions.

Tillich writes that ‘it is the task of the church architects to create places of consecration where people feel able to contemplate the holy in the midst of their secular life’. (34) This point of departure corresponds to his idea that the religious is present in all secular life. Tillich proposes to include expressive, but non-figurative, art in churches instead of gaudy imitations of the old masters.

He strongly advocates modern designs for church buildings; neo-gothic or other imitations he considers inappropriate and out of context with our time. Even if many of these modern designs fail to convey something of ultimate reality to twentieth century humans he considers it important to develop new styles because of the need for the principle of honesty in creative self-expression; he thus regards imitations as dishonest. (35) Again, as with his writing on painting, he makes hardly any references to specific places of worship.

For a Protestant church interior Tillich suggests murals, stained glass and non-figurative sculpture rather than paintings which tend to be objects of veneration. Figurative sculptures should not be used because they are ‘too indicative of ancient idol worship’. These views are surprising. They reveal a rather simplistic and, one might say, ‘Zwinglian’ notion of the role of contemporary paintings and sculptures in church interiors which seems out of line with Tillich’s extensive elaborations on the mediation of ultimate concern in visual, especially Expressionist art, which, although distorted, remains figurative.

One may quite safely suggest that after the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the Marxist critique of religion, Vatican II and with twentieth century (post)modernity we now find ourselves in an age in which idol worship is no longer part of Christian worship, if it ever was as prevalent and dangerous as some of the Reformers maintained. Expressive and sometimes provocative modern paintings or sculptures with religious content (Nolde, Rainer, Beuys, Cucchi, Ernst or, in the Irish context, for example, Jack Yeats, Middleton, or Graham) invite – if they were placed in a church – puzzled reactions, critique, even disgust, perhaps interest, admiration and maybe meditation, but certainly not idol worship.

It becomes clear that Tillich’s ideas here seem somewhat self-contradictory. While he makes a very important point in stressing that the contemporary church needs contemporary art and artists, his insistence that figurative images should be excluded from church interiors might be a sign of his Protestant background and theology, i.e. the Protestant reservations with regard to figurative images in sacred spaces. This would be surprising, however, because Tillich belonged to the Lutheran tradition in which, unlike in the Reformed tradition, the fear of images and idol worship has played only a rather minor role, as Luther himself held that images, signs and sacraments were necessary for nourishing the Christian faith. (36) Should one conclude that despite Tillich’s emphasis on symbol, analogy and sacramentality, his attitude here might disclose something of the tension between the ‘Protestant principle’, i.e. the rejection of the divinisation of anything in human or historic reality, and the ‘Catholic substance’, i.e. an affirmation of the divine presence in all that is? (37)

Tillich’s greatest achievement in the area of theology and art lies in the very fact that he opened up modern art to theology. Art played an important dimension in his whole theologising; the numerous references in his works to visual art, in particular, are confirmations of this element in his thought. Among the leading systematic theologians of the twentieth century Paul Tillich stands out as the one for whom modern art was more than a marginal subject; it became a central theme in his theology. Any critique of Tillich’s theology of art, as it has been made by theologians like Dillenberger, Palmer, Stock, as well as by this writer, must therefore be seen in the light of the basic appreciation and deep respect for Tillich’s stature in this field.

From what has been discussed above, the main points of critique therefore are 1. that one cannot make one artistic style more or less normative for all religious art; 2. that Tillich’s theory of the religious in art would thus exclude from the start many important artists and indeed works with religious content from the history of art; 3. that Tillich failed to recognise sufficiently the important aspect of subjectivity in modern art and artists; 4. that the interpretation of art demands consistent adherence to and in-depth engagement with the work of art; 5. that style, which provides a type of language and basis for communication in which religious as well as non-religious concerns are expressed, is only part – but not the whole – of the message itself; and 6. that Tillich’s use of the term Expressionism (or expressionism) for the period of Expressionism in early twentieth-century European art as well as for expressive elements in other works from the history of art is somewhat confusing and therefore unclear. It is at times difficult to know whether he refers to the former or the latter.

These criticisms are valid and need to be taken into account when one reads Tillich’s writings on art. However, his importance in this area remains unquestioned since he was the first theologian to see the theological relevance especially in modern art. Moreover, and significantly, his understanding of human estrangement and of religion as ultimate concern provided a basis for discovering religious dimensions in works of art which contain little or no religious iconography.
1. This section on Tillich’s theology of art is a revised and enlarged version of my article ‘Religious Art is Expressionistic, A Critical Appreciation of Paul Tillich’s Theology of Art’, in The Irish Theological Quarterly, vol. 59, no. 4 (1993), 302-311. I gratefully acknowledge the critical reading and helpful comments given to me by the late John Macken S.J. in the first stage of writing the article.
2. Cf. James A. Martin Jr., Beauty and Holiness, The Dialogue between Aesthetics and Religion (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1990), 93.
3. Tillich, On the Boundary (London: Collins, 1967), 22-23.
4. Tillich, ‘One Moment of Beauty’, in Tillich, On Art and Architecture, ed. John and Jane Dillenberger (New York: Crossroad, 1987), 234-235. ‘Gazing up at it, I felt a state approaching ecstasy… something of the divine source of all things came through to me. I turned away shaken. That moment has affected my whole life, given me the keys for the interpretation of human existence, brought vital joy and spiritual truth. I compare it with what is usually called revelation in the language of religion. I know that no artistic experience can match the moments in which prophets were grasped in the power of the Divine Presence, but I believe that there is an analogy between revelation and what I felt that moment of ecstasy has never been repeated.’
5. Cf. Tillich’s concept of theonomy in Tillich, Systematic Theology, vol. 1 (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1951), 83-86, 147-150, and Systematic Theology, vol. 3 (Chicago, 1963, here: London: SCM, 1978), 248-258.
6. Tillich, ‘Art and Ultimate Reality’ (lecture 1959, first publ. 1960), in Paul Tillich, Main Works, vol. 2, ed. Michael Palmer (Berlin, New York: De Gruyter, Evangelisches Verlagswerk, 1990), 328.
7. Cf Christoph Schwöble, ‘Tillich, Paul’, in Alister E. McGrath, (ed.), The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Thought (Oxford: Blackwell, 1993), 638.
8. David Tracy, Blessed Rage for Order, The New Pluralism in Theology (New York: The Seabury Press, 1975),46. Tracy, ‘Tillich and Contemporary Theology’, in James Luther Adams, Wilhelm Pauck, Roger Lincoln Shinn, (eds.), The Thought of Paul Tillich (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985), 266.
9. Tracy, ‘Tillich and Contemporary Theology’, op. cit., 266. ‘The fact is that Tillich does allow the answers (not only the questions) of psychoanalysis, socialist theory, existentialism … to provide answers, not only questions, in his theology.’
10. Tillich, Systematic Theology, vol. 1, 239.
11. Ibid.
12. Tillich, ‘Art and Society’ (1952), in Tillich, On Art and Architecture, 37, 40.
13. Cf. ibid., 36-41. Cf. also George Pattison, Art, Modernity and Faith, Restoring the Image (London: Macmillan, 1991), 113.
14. Tillich, ‘Art and Ultimate Reality’, in op. cit., 318-319.
15. Tillich, ‘Protestantism and Artistic Style’ (1957), On Art and Architecture, 12l.
16. Tillich, ‘Art and Ultimate Reality’, Main Works, vol. 2, 320.
17. Ibid., 323. Cf. Günter Rombold, Der Streit um das Bild, Zum Verhältnis von moderner Kunst und Religion (Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1988), 91.
18. Ibid., 325.
19. Ibid., 326.
20. Ibid. Alexander Stock comments: ‘Tillich’s comprehensive definition of this type of religion makes clear that the Protestant mode of Christianity is not understood as one form of religion beside others, but as the fully valid integration of all modi of religious experience.’ (Author’s translation). A. Stock, Zwischen Tempel und Museum: theologische Kunstkritik; Positionen der Moderne (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 1991), 237.
21. Cf. Tillich, ‘Mass and Personality’ (first publ. in German, 1922), On Art and Architecture, 61-64. Tillich, The Religious Situation, trans. H.R. Niebuhr (Cleveland, New York: Meridian Books, 1956), 85-88, at 87.
22. Rombold, Der Streit urn das Bild, 94. (Author’s translation).
23. Tillich, ‘Art and Ultimate Reality’, Main Works, vol. 2, 328.
24. Tillich, ‘Theology and Architecture’ (1955), Tillich, Main Works, vol. 2, 265-266.
25. Tillich, ‘Religiöser Stil und Stoff in der bildenden Kunst’ (1921), Tillich, Main Works, vol. 2, 95.
26. M. Palmer, ‘Paul Tillich’s Theology of Culture’, Tillich, Main Works, vol. 2, 7.
27. Palmer, ‘Paul Tillich’s Theology of Culture’, in Tillich, Main Works, vol. 2, 7.
28. Ibid., 28. Tillich, Theology and ArchirectUre’ (I955), in Main Works, vol. 2, 266.
29. Palmer, op.cit., 23.
30. Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, quotation from the periodical Kunst und Künstler (I 924), in Wolf Dieter Dube, The Expressionists (London: Thames and Hudson, 1972),20.
31. Dube, op.cit., 172.
32. Dillenberger, A Theology of Artistic Sensibilities, The Visual Arts and the Church, 221.
33. Numerous articles have been written on this issue in Ireland since Vatican II. Cf. for example, Episcopal Liturgical Commission of Ireland, The Place of Worship, Pastoral Directory on the Building and Reordering of Churches (Dublin: Veritas, 1991).
34. Tillich, ‘Honesty and Consecration in Religious Art and Architecture’ (1965), Main Works, vol. 2, 369.
35. Tillich, ‘Contemporary Protestant Architecture’ (1962), op.cit., 355. Cf. also Richard Egenter, a contemporary of Tillich, on this question of the untruthfulness, irreverence, and ineptitude of kitsch in churches. Egenter considers it from his viewpoint as a moral theologian. Egenter, The Desecration of Christ (London: Burns & Oates, 1967), 85-94.
36. Cf. Helmut A. Müller, ‘Das Schöne im Gotteshaus. Zum Verhältnis von Kirche und Gegenwartskunst’, Evangelische Kommentare, vol. 1 (Stuttgart, 1990), 46.
37. I thank Dermot Lane for his comment. Cf. also Ronald Modras, ‘Catholic Substance and the Catholic Church Today’, in Raymond F. Bulman, Frederick J. Parrella, (eds.), Paul Tillich: A New Catholic Assessment (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1994), 33-42.




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