The Uneasy Artifacts of an Aesthetic Religion
Keywords:naturalism, aesthetics, philosophy of religion, neuroscience
This article is concerned with addressing the tensions between art and religion. In arguing that this tension stems from the way memory processes work at the heart of both religion and aesthetics, I will draw Robert Corrington’s unique version of religious naturalism together with recent work done by art historian David Freedberg on the neuroscience of response to visual art. When properly framed by philosopher of religion Loyal Rue, these very different perspectives become highly complementary. By forging an interaction between them, I not only attempt to demonstrate how Corrington’s philosophical contextualization and Freedberg’s empathetic aesthetics mutually enhance one another, but I also hope to open up additional lines of inquiry about the role of memory within the problematic of art and religion, particularly for those seeking the interdisciplinary convergences between religion, aesthetics, science, and ethics.
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