The Decline and Renewal of Christian Art

From an article published in the August/September, 1994, issue of Second Spring, a journal of faith and culture.

The Church is not indifferent to the arts and in a multitude of ways has expressed her concern for the renewal of culture in society and a rediscovery of the sacred in religious culture. In 1974, the Vatican Collection of Modern Religious Art opened with a dazzling display of 600 works of twentieth century religious art, a collection which continues to expand. Pope Paul VI inaugurated the exhibit with an address to an international group of artists, reassuring them that, “It is not true that only a determined criteria of the art of the past has free and exclusive entrance here. It is not true that the dominant criteria of contemporary art are madness, passion, purely cerebral and arbitrary abstraction.”

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