Religion and art: Talent and tension


With a few inexpensive moves to turn bare walls into venues, churches are using visual displays for a range of purposes. Some complement lessons taught in worship (one church asked members to submit art pieces in response to a sermon series on thriving). Others bridge cultural divides with the secular world. Parishioners, staffers, artists and neighbors all say they benefit as displaying art becomes a larger part of the church’s mission. What then, is the role of art in religion – many religions?

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Considering mercy among Japan’s Buddhist, Shinto faiths

awaremiTokyo: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan’s Inter-Religious Dialogue Committee as part of the Jubilee Year of Mercy held discussions on the theory and practice of mercy in Buddhist and Shinto faiths. There is a direct parallel with the Japanese Christians understanding of God’s love which means ‘to hold dear’.

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Freedom of worship: Rio 2016 athletes’ village to welcome all religions

ovillageWhichever faith they follow, competitors coming to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympic and Paralympic Games will find a place to worship in the athletes’ village. The Inter-religious centre at the Olympic and Paralympic Village will serve athletes of every faith, says coordinator, Father Leandros.

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The rise of Christianity in Cambodia

ccambodiaIn 2014, Philip Coggan spent several months interviewing Cambodians about their beliefs. Largely this meant talking about the mixture of Buddhism and animism that makes up traditional Cambodian religion. He was struck by one thing that seems to be largely overlooked in the literature about Cambodia – the rapid growth of Christianity.

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Can Christianity learn from Buddhism?

mfasak1Could Christianity’s future lie in Buddhism’s past? This is a possibility that’s been haunting me lately, but in a good way, I think.
One big critique, understandably, of postmodern views on Christian spirituality is that there’s too much time and energy spent deconstructing old systems and ways of thinking that need to be torn down or reimagined, while lacking the same effort to build up something more helpful — more Christ-like — in its place.

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The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050

Chart of religion growthAs of 2010, Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with an estimated 2.2 billion adherents, nearly a third (31%) of all 6.9 billion people on Earth. Islam was second, with 1.6 billion adherents, or 23% of the global population. If current demographic trends continue, however, Islam will nearly catch up by the middle of the 21st century. Between 2010 and 2050, the world’s total population is expected to rise to 9.3 billion, a 35% increase, reports the Pew Forum on Religion.

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