Cover image for Creativity and spirituality : bonds between art and religion
Creativity and spirituality : bonds between art and religion
Coleman, Earle Jerome.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Albany : State University of New York Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
xx, 237 pages ; 23 cm
Subject Term:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL65.A4 C65 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Drawing from six living faiths, this book philosophically analyzes relations between art and religion in order to explain how the concepts "art," "beauty," "creativity," and "aesthetic experience" find their place or counterparts in religious discourse and experience.

Author Notes

Earle J. Coleman is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the author of several books, including Varieties of Aesthetic Experience and Philosophy of Painting by Shih-t'ao.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Cross-cultural comparison is the hallmark of this fascinating exploration of the confluence of art and religion. While many have attempted this in the past, few have been inclusive in their research and presentation. Such an endeavor is crucial because the links between art and religion are essential and basic. Variation in cultural expression in no way diminishes an underlying foundation for this primary human articulation. Coleman (Virginia Commonwealth Univ.) presents his theory using a three-fold approach. First, he relates religious texts to aesthetic phenomena. Then, he examines the statements of artists in order to find religious significance. Third, he presents exhaustive study of the various theorists of both art and religion. Art and religion are seen as reciprocal powers that inspire each other in turn. While classic cultures often do not distinguish the two, the author finds that modern aesthetics has divided and contrasted their ultimate aims. This extremely ambitious book in some sense only sketches the problem and defines areas for further discussion. The reader will disagree with much and find some conclusions facile. However, the overall attempt to open a rarely held conversation between art and religion worldwide makes the shortcoming worthwhile. General audiences, graduate students, faculty, researchers. L. L. Lam-Easton; California State University, Northridge

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. xiii
1. Art, Religion, and Relationsp. 1
2. The Perceptible, the Imperceptible, and a Total Responsep. 29
3. Receptivity, Omnipresence, and Sui Generis Emotionsp. 49
4. The Self and Unionp. 71
5. Artistic Beauty, Natural Beauty, and Supernatural Beautyp. 107
6. The Child-State and Revelationp. 133
7. Creativityp. 155
8. The Aesthetic versus the Spiritualp. 183
Notesp. 199
Bibliographyp. 215
Indexp. 221