Religious art is the use of art to represent religious ideologies and help the believers of religion practice their faith and believes. Some of the religious art consist of ritualistic and cultic practices that reveal one's faith and help in promoting the ideologies of religion. The depth of the religious commitment of the worshipers to these artistic relics is sometimes incredible and unimaginable. Mt Ethos is one of such sites where the commitment and sacrifices of the people to their religious activities is incredible. The structures of the temples and other structures on the mountain are amazing and one of the most magnificent places in the world. The constructions of some of the buildings on cliffs and rocks would be impossible for modern architects to build and design. The temples contain some of the oldest pieces of paintings and carvings there are in the world. However, despite all that beauty, the mountain remains isolated and inaccessible to most of the people in the world. The religious beliefs of the guardians of this mountain forbid them from allowing people to access the beauty of the place and its artistic treasures (Orthodox Online Network). The function of these artistic relics compels these people to keep them sacred by locking out the people from accessing its riches.
The artistic relics in the mountain have great religious significance to the custodians of the orthodox religion. These relics have been kept for many years without any interference. Some of them are believed to contain items from historical times whose value cannot be measured. For instance, one of the boxes in the archives is believed to contain a piece of cloth that belonged to Mary, the mother of Jesus. The religious value of these artistic pieces justifies the tendency to keep them away from the public. For one to access entrance into the mountain, he has to go through thorough screening and prove to be a religious person. Women cannot access the mountain as the religious dictates of the Orthodox Church dictate (Conomos, 53). Allowing free movement of people into the mountain would rob it if its sacredness and turn it into a tourist destination. The need to maintain the sacredness of the religion makes the mountain inaccessible to most people and keeps the art away from the admiration of the public.
The aesthetic value of the art depends on the value it has to the people in the country and depends on the social, political, and religious value it has. The existence of art for arts sake is minimal as people derive the value of art from its religious, political and social value. The formalism given to art robs it off its diversity (Fenner, 72). The formal view of analyzing art formed caused by the religious social and political constraints robs art of its vitality and life. The limited view and interpretation of such pieces of art deny the people the right to free interpretation of art. For instance, the view of the art in Mount Athos is limited to religious purposes.
Mount ethos is one of the worlds most secretive place. The architectural designs of the cities, the artistic carvings, and drawings of the mountain remain hidden from the world. The priests that live in the mountain have limited appreciation of the artistic value of these features in the mountain. Their fear of letting people in the mountain and rob it of its sacredness keeps valuable pieces of art away from the world. The religious view of the art robs the people access to art that could provide historical and artistic insight of the art. The religious value of the mountain relates to the art therein in a paradoxical manner as it gives it religious value and robs its other forms of value and the admiration of many people.
Conomos, Dimitri E, and Graham Speake. Mount Athos, the Sacred Bridge: The Spirituality of the Holy Mountain. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2005. Print.
Fenner, David E. W. Art in Context: Understanding Aesthetic Value. Athens: Swallow Press/Ohio UP, 2008. Print.
Orthodox Online Network. ""Mt. Athos: A visit to the Holy Mountain"." Youtube. N.p., 24 Apr. 2011. Web. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFf5iu6STU4>.
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