“I still appreciate religious art because I can appreciate the state of worship the artist was in while painting or creating the art. ” – Marta K.
What if you’re not religious? How can an atheist identify with faith? Read on to find out how art can connect atheism with spirituality in ways that you wouldn’t expect.
Painting: A Form of Meditation
This is something that’s particularly difficult for me to write because it also exposes a vulnerability that I don’t talk about very often: I am an atheist. Perhaps those reading this expect me to have strong negative feelings on the matter of religion and art. However, religious art is meaningful to me in an unexpected way: I use religious art as a way to attempt to hold on to my previous beliefs.
Painting was introduced to me as a way to kill time. Fortunately, it became more than that. I would spend hours focused on what was in front of me, feeling like only ten minutes passed when it was really two hours. It was my version of meditation. I grew up Catholic, so faith was a comfort for me. It was one of my themes while painting. It was a challenging way to connect to God. It felt like a divine act.
Questioning your religion and faith is a painful process, but I believe that it’s necessary. Painting, as a form of meditation, allows you to put off those difficult questions and emotions. Nearing the end of high school, I had less time to paint and pursue art. I also decided to pursue a STEM degree instead of Fine Arts. This opened up time to grapple with those questions. I was on my way to becoming a confident atheist. While I am glad that I “de-converted,” I still appreciate religious art because I can appreciate the state of worship the artist was in while painting or creating the art. That effort is a thing of beauty all on its own.
– Marta K.
Do you find a connection between art and your faith?
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