The subject matter of this entry is the depiction, inclusion, and interpretation of the human body in works of art premised on religious principles or beliefs.
The implicit question of the dichotomy, whether real or imagined, between sacred and secular art is implied throughout any discussion of the human body.
Artistic and religious dimensions of the human form highlight cultural values and societal attitudes toward gender, figurative art, and the relationship between humanity and divinity.
Referencing philosophic and religious concepts of the human form as an expression of divinity, classical art emphasizes harmony and order as well as a culturally conditioned concept of beauty.
Medieval art reflects the preoccupation of Latin-speaking Christianity with finitude and guilt as the human body becomes a visual signifier of corruption and decay. The Female Body in Western Culture: Contemporary Perspectives.
As a historical and cultural category, the human body undergoes numerous transformations as prevailing social, political, and economic forces change.
Race, gender, and class, as well as religious and cultural values, have been imprinted on depictions of the human body and sanctioned throughout history.Representations of the human body in art, whether identified as religious or secular, raise questions concerning structures of power, ideology, and identity.Artistic renderings and religious interpretations of the human body privilege it as a symbolic value and a political agent, especially during periods of protest against societal norms and definitions of gender as sexual identification.Different cultures and eras interpret the meaning and value of the human body in distinctive ways.The various interconnections of ideas, especially concepts related to art and religion, reflect more than aesthetic or devotional applications.The human body was one individual object that possessed both singular and communal identities. Interwoven within the cultural fabric of each distinctive work of art was a simultaneous recognition of both the universality and the uniqueness of the human body. The fundamental issue is whether art must include the human figure in order to be religious.The role and meaning of the human body incorporates a diverse range of cultural forces, including but not limited to art and religion.Traditionally, artistic presentations of bodily proportions, physical motions, and facial or manual gestures were visual signifiers of the internal movements of the soul. Diane Apostolos-Cappadona (2005) gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).For many cultures, including Renaissance Europe, the presentation of the human body was a visual means of classifying knowledge about the world. Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style.