The Contemporary Convergence of Art and Religion

Robert Wuthnow

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


This article shows, perhaps surprisingly for many, that religion and art, while they overlap at certain points, do not easily accommodate each other. The relationship spans a continuum, the oppositional end of which would include Islam, which prohibits all forms of representational art; types of Buddhism, including such modern movements as Korean Won Buddhism and the Thai Santi Asoke movement, both of which oppose the use of images of the Buddha; forms of Christian asceticism, including elements of the Western monastic tradition and Puritanism. At the more accommodating end, one could place types of Hinduism such as devotional Hinduism, Shinto, and many African and African-derived religions, such as Umbanda and Candomble. The main focus is the United States, where there is an overlap in several domains, including dance and rock music in the liturgy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Religion
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191577253
ISBN (Print)9780199588961
StatePublished - Sep 2 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


  • Buddhism
  • Hinduism
  • Islam
  • Representational art
  • Rock music
  • Thai Santi Asoke
  • United States
  • Western monastic tradition


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