Society, Spirituality and Sustainability: Giotto’s Last Judgment and Andrea Bonaiuti’s the Triumph of the Church

By Lindsay Farrell.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper examines relationships between systems of thought through reflection on two fourteenth century Italian frescoes and investigation of what Bourdieu labels “fields”. These fields are shaped by aesthetic values and cultural practices in the context of broader socio-cultural processes, that is, the visual arts in two communities just a generation apart. This paper examines relationships between systems of thought, that is, religious traditions and spiritualities and social institutions, as reflected in two art works. These form the context for the creation and appreciation of visual art which, in Bourdieu’s terms, is “invested with material and symbolic power”. It will also explore the religious traditions, spiritualities and social institutions, reflected in two art works. These form the context for the creation and appreciation of visual art which, in Bourdieu’s terms, is “invested with material and symbolic power”. Bourdieu, like Foucault, identifies the subterranean nature of power and challenges many well accepted ways of seeing and describing the world. The paper concludes with some reflections on the use of Bourdieu’s methods in helping understand the contestations and socio-cultural readings of art works that can help us inform a more ecologically sustainable spirituality and society.

Keywords: Art, Sustainability

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 231.238KB).

Lindsay Farrell

Head of School, School of Arts and Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Lindsay Farrell is the Head of the School of Arts and Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, Australia. He researches the visual arts in religious and community contexts.