Religion and Contemporary Art sets the theoretical frameworks and interpretive strategies for exploring the re-emergence of religion in the making, exhibiting, and discussion of contemporary art. Featuring essays from both established and emerging scholars, critics, and artists, the book reflects on what might be termed an "accord" between contemporary art and religion.

It explores the common strategies contemporary artists employ in the interface between religion and contemporary art practice. It also includes case studies to provide more in-depth treatments of specific artists grappling with themes such as ritual, abstraction, mythology, the body, popular culture, science, liturgy, and social justice, among other themes.

It is a must-read resource for working artists, critics, and scholars in this field, and an invitation to new voices "curious" about its promises and possibilities.

chapter |18 pages


ByRonald R. Bernier, Rachel Hostetter Smith

part I|98 pages

Theoretical and Interpretative Frameworks

chapter 1|16 pages

The New Visibility of Religion in Contemporary Art

Four Interpretive Horizons
ByJonathan A. Anderson

chapter 2|9 pages

Exploring Theological Dimensions of the Work of Art

ByLinda Stratford

chapter 3|16 pages

Translating Religion

Contemporary Art through a Postsecular Lens
ByLieke Wijnia

chapter 4|14 pages

The Question of Criticism

What to Do with Our Revelations?
ByJeffrey L. Kosky

chapter 5|11 pages

Curating Faith

Art, Religion, and the Curatorial
ByDaniel A. Siedell

chapter 6|16 pages

A Loving Regard

Contemporary Art and Expanding the Archive
ByElissa Yukiko Weichbrodt

chapter 7|14 pages

Exhibition as Pilgrimage

Visual Strategies for Interfaith Dialogue 1
ByAaron Rosen

part II|126 pages

Artistic Strategies

chapter 8|14 pages


Contemporary Portraiture and Sacred Personhood
ByKatie Kresser

chapter 9|13 pages

Relic-ing Now

Reliquary Strategies of Materiality and Memory in Contemporary Art
ByCynthia Hahn

chapter 10|15 pages

Contemporary Art as Pilgrimage AND Site

Ambrosio's As Far As The Eye Can Travel Zine Project
ByKathryn R. Barush

chapter 11|18 pages

Rogue Priests

Ritual, Sacrament, and Witness in Contemporary Art
ByRachel Hostetter Smith

chapter 12|15 pages

Walking Naked and Barefoot

When Ancient Jewish Prophets Meet Avant-Garde Performance Artists
ByWayne L. Roosa

chapter 13|13 pages

Revisiting “Art in the Dark”

Thomas McEvilley, Performance Art, and the End(s) of Shamanism
ByKaren Gonzalez Rice

chapter 14|20 pages

Infused with Light

Christian Traces in Multimedia Installation Art
ByJorge Sebastián Lozano

chapter 15|16 pages

Bill Viola, the Icon, and the Apophatic Sublime

ByRonald R. Bernier

part III|192 pages

Case Studies of Artists and Artworks

chapter 16|10 pages

The Lived Religion of Andy Warhol

ByStephen S. Bush

chapter 18|12 pages

From the Wounds, Grace

John August Swanson and the Theological Aesth/Ethics of Liberation
ByCecilia González-Andrieu

chapter 19|11 pages

Cities of Light

Phillip K. Smith III and the Light & Space Movement
ByMatthew J. Milliner

chapter 20|12 pages

Performativity and the Flesh

The Economy of the Icon in Lia Chavez's Light Body
ByJulie M. Hamilton

chapter 21|8 pages

Theaster Gates and the Good Use of Forgotten Things

ByDonato Loia

chapter 22|8 pages

On Preaching, Performance Art, and Television

Christian Jankowski's The Holy Artwork
ByIsabelle Loring Wallace

chapter 23|9 pages

Tools of the Apocalypse

Eschatology in Contemporary Jewish and Catholic Art
ByBen Schachter

chapter 24|10 pages

Back to the Garden

Utopia and Paradise in the work of Jim Shaw, Liza Lou, Shirin Neshat, and Shoja Azari
ByEleanor Heartney

chapter 25|18 pages

Deep Waters

Art and the Revival of Religion in Contemporary China
ByPatricia Eichenbaum Karetzky

chapter 26|8 pages

Salvation in the Fallen World

On Meng Yan's Recent Monumental Works
ByChangping Zha

chapter 27|9 pages

Chrysanne Stathacos, Charwei Tsai

The Mandala
ByHaema Sivanesan

chapter 28|13 pages

Performing Memory and Mourning

Diane Victor's Martyred Women
ByKaren von Veh

chapter 29|14 pages

Weaving Land and Water

On the Poetics of Diasporic and Indigenous Resistance
ByYohana Agra Junker

chapter 30|10 pages

Al Buraq

Explorations of Liminality in Contemporary Islamic Art
BySascha Crasnow

chapter |24 pages


A Colloquy with Diane Apostolos-Cappadona, James Elkins, Ben Quash, and S. Brent Rodriguez-Plate
ByRonald R. Bernier, Rachel Hostetter Smith