The Interplay between Religion and Culture

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Humanities/Philosophies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 October 2024 | Viewed by 2652

Special Issue Editors

*
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Guest Editor
Center for Comparative Studies of Civilization, Faculty of Philosophy, Jagiellonian University, 31-007 Kraków, Poland
Interests: comparative studies of religious systems and cultures; rituals and ceremonies; death in various cultures; Celtic culture, including Celtic Christianity; nonverbal communication
* Dr. hab. Bożena Gierek

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Geography and Spatial Management, Faculty of Geography and Geology, Jagiellonian University, 31-007 Krakow, Poland
Interests: geography of religion, especially pilgrimages and religious tourism; Catholic sanctuaries; cultural geography; cultural landscape
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Religion is a cultural product, a cultural system. In most cultures of the past, it has been “the central cultural fountainhead” (King 1987). The full significance of religion can be seen only when viewed in the total cultural matrix (Kluckhohn 1949)—in the cultural web, in the cultural context. Somehow, religion and culture are parts of each other (Geertz 1973).

If culture means “the total life way of a people, the social legacy the individual acquires from his group” (Kluckhohn 1949), then the same applies to religion. If culture is “a way of thinking, feeling, believing” (ibidem), then it is certainly influenced by religion. On the other hand, culture plays a significant role in shaping religious beliefs. In other words, religion attempts to order individual and societal life, in accordance with the environing culture. Religion therefore adapts to the cultural environment and can have different forms, e.g., Christianity in Europe and in Africa, Islam in various countries. Thus, culture affects religion—the latter is culturally determined—and religion affects culture, triggering cultural changes.

Religion as a cultural system is composed of myths, rituals, symbols, and beliefs created and transmitted by people. As such, it is an abstraction, and yet, it influences the overt behavior and various areas of life, including customs and lifestyles, e.g., in education, medicine, politics, economy, etc. Religion becomes tangible in human works, such as art, architecture, tools, and various kinds of artifacts which are inspired by it. Such works consequently enrich culture; they are the tangible and intangible results, products of religion form a heritage of people who are bound together by social and cultural ties, immersed in the same culture.

The interplay between religion and culture is complex and multilayered. Both impact on one another in manifold ways. The topic can be approached from various angles and various forms of that interplay can be analyzed. We invite scholars representing multidisciplinary approaches to explore various aspects of the topic under discussion and send us original research articles.

Here are some areas in which the interplay between culture and religion manifests itself in tangible and intangible ways, which are proposed for consideration in this volume:

  • Tradition;
  • Values;
  • Customs;
  • Sacred places and landscape, understood in geographical terms;
  • Sacred objects;
  • Sacred writings;
  • Religious symbols;
  • Religious principles and culture;
  • Myths, legends, and stories;
  • Rituals;
  • Festivals;
  • (Pop)art;
  • All kinds of artifacts.

The discussion on the interplay between religion and culture is not limited to the above issues.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Prior to submitting a manuscript, the potential authors of the articles are requested to send a proposed title and an abstract of 250–300 words to the Guest Editors: Dr. hab. Bożena Gierek (bozena.gierek@uj.edu.pl) and Dr. hab. Izabela Sołjan (izabela.soljan@uj.edu.pl).

Dr. Bożena Gierek
Prof. Dr. Izabela Sołjan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • architecture
  • art
  • belief
  • culture
  • landscape
  • myth
  • religion
  • ritual
  • symbol
  • value

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 4158 KiB  
Article
The Interplay of Religion and the Visual Arts: A Bibliometric Network Analysis (1991–2023)
by Hong Zhang and Cheryl Zhenyu Qian
Religions 2024, 15(4), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15040481 - 12 Apr 2024
Viewed by 594
Abstract
Since the emergence of digital media in the 1990s, a new realm of interaction between the visual arts and religion has been forged and evolved. The spread of visual media technologies has significantly influenced the study of religious visual art worldwide after the [...] Read more.
Since the emergence of digital media in the 1990s, a new realm of interaction between the visual arts and religion has been forged and evolved. The spread of visual media technologies has significantly influenced the study of religious visual art worldwide after the 1990s. Despite this, the field of religious visual art during the digital era is still relatively uncharted, with a notable absence of comprehensive theoretical frameworks. To address this gap, the present paper employs bibliometric methods, conducting a thorough review and analysis of 2544 pieces of international academic literature in the domain of religion and visual arts post-1990s. The analytical framework is structured into three primary sections, each dedicated to answering key questions: (1) what constitutes the inherent relationship in the study of religion and visual art?, (2) what disciplinary context do these interplays occur within?, and (3) in which domains and regions does this interplay predominantly unfold? The outcomes of this rigorous analysis offer valuable insights into interdisciplinary influences and evolving research trends within the realm of religious visual art. These findings stand to benefit art researchers and practitioners, providing a comprehensive overview of potential avenues for the exploration of visual arts with religious themes. Through a systematic investigation, this research endeavors to heighten scholars’ awareness of the significance of visual arts in the field of religion and illuminate the interdisciplinary trends at the intersection of religion and visual arts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Interplay between Religion and Culture)
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26 pages, 9959 KiB  
Article
The Neglected Dress—Re-Evaluating the Iconography of the “True Visage” (Zhenrong) Mañjuśrī
by Hong Wu
Religions 2024, 15(4), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15040432 - 30 Mar 2024
Viewed by 556
Abstract
The development of the cult of Mount Wutai was a milestone event in the history of Chinese Buddhism. Crucial in that development was a novel depiction of Mañjuśrī, believed to be transmitting the deity’s “true visage” (zhenrong). While consensus suggests that [...] Read more.
The development of the cult of Mount Wutai was a milestone event in the history of Chinese Buddhism. Crucial in that development was a novel depiction of Mañjuśrī, believed to be transmitting the deity’s “true visage” (zhenrong). While consensus suggests that the primary new aspect of that depiction is the ethnicity of the attendant for Mañjuśrī’s animal vehicle, it is puzzling that the true visage of a saintly figure is defined externally, by his attendant, rather than internally, within his own stylistic or iconographic configuration. This paper critically re-evaluates arguments and evidence surrounding this issue and argues that the image of the True Visage Mañjuśrī invented at Mount Wutai has specific iconographic features in his own representation. Uncovering the heretofore neglected iconographic specificities provides a more fine-grained understanding of how visual devices contributed to the cult of Mount Wutai, while also bringing renewed thinking about the notion of auspicious images and their replication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Interplay between Religion and Culture)
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14 pages, 6581 KiB  
Article
Literati Ingredients in the 17th-Century Chinese Christian Paintings
by Jie Xiao
Religions 2024, 15(4), 383; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15040383 - 22 Mar 2024
Viewed by 762
Abstract
In this paper, the modification methods of the Chinese Christian painting created by the missionaries in the late Ming Dynasty (1573–1644) were analyzed with the Chinese Catholic studies of the “Song nianzhu guicheng” and the “Tianzhu Jiangsheng Chuxiang Jingjie”. [...] Read more.
In this paper, the modification methods of the Chinese Christian painting created by the missionaries in the late Ming Dynasty (1573–1644) were analyzed with the Chinese Catholic studies of the “Song nianzhu guicheng” and the “Tianzhu Jiangsheng Chuxiang Jingjie”. After carefully studying the differences between the Chinese Christian painting and the original European version, the study shows that these Chinese Christian paintings were integrated with the Chinese literati paintings’ elements and literati symbols, which include the “Yudiancun” (raindrop texture stroke), “Pimacun” (hemp-fiber texture stroke), “landscape screen” (painted screens with natural landscapes), and the mark of Chinese famous literati such as Dong Qichang. These adjustments conducted by missionaries aimed to make religious paintings more in line with literati aesthetics, which could build connections between the missionaries and the literati community for proselytization. However, the missionaries neglected that the literati community certainly would not sacrifice the existing social order and the vested interest brought by the current Confucian culture to support new ideas of “liberty” and “equality” in the Catholic doctrine, which caused a huge setback in the missionary work since the Nanjing Teaching Case in 1616. This research makes significant contributions to the understanding of cultural exchanges in the 17th century through a detailed exploration of the adjustments made by missionaries in the visual representations within Chinese Catholic literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Interplay between Religion and Culture)
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