Synaxis of the Holy Theotokos
The Sacred in Life & Art by Philip Sherrard
“The concept of a completely profane world,” Sherrard writes, “of a cosmos wholly desacralized, is a fairly recent invention of the human mind.” The attempt to implement this standard as the force by which we determine the course of our social, economic, political and personal lives is even more recent and, according to Sherrard, enormously destructive. Such an endeavor requires us first to “blind our intellectual sight with a sacrilegious and fraudulent notion of the physical universe,” which he boldly calls the “cataract of modern science.” Them are fightin’ words. Only by re-awakening us with the consciousness of the sacred can this flow of secular philosophy abate. The Sacred in Life and Art presents Philip Sherrard’s contribution to this reawakening by discussing the holy sacraments, the relationship between the artist and the sacred, the problem of modern art, the concept of art and originalitiy, the art of the icon, the art of transfiguration (understood as the art of holiness), and the mysterious art of nuptial love. As with most of Sherrard’s books, the text is packed dense with philosophical and theological potential and takes some work to digest. Read it slow. Neither artist nor layman will be disappointed. Both may even discover the vocational door by which a life infused with the sacred is entered: “Here contemplation—not aesthetic but religious—reveals itself, in life as in art, as the loving of every created reality: a love, an ‘ontological tenderness,” that raises what is created above itself and liberates it from its bondage, its isolation, and even from death itself.”
162 pp. paper
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