Being the largest Christian church and among the oldest religious institutions in the world, the Roman Catholic Church is a religious site that observes numerous artistic expressions in most of its religious rituals. The Roman Catholic art is made up of various visual works which are greatly observed by its believers as an illustration and a supplement that tangibly portrays the teachings of the church. These Roman Christians exhibit carved statuaries of Jesus Christ, The Virgin Mary, and various other biblical figures. Most of the commonly used artistic expressions by the Roman Catholics are such as; the art of the crucifixion of Christ on the Cross, the Vogelstein, which is an artistic feature that symbolizes Jesus calling for the children to come to him, among others.
For the Catholics, the relationship between art and their religion is viewed from various perspectives. For instance, the artistic expressions used in their religious rituals like baptism, have the role in building a strong connection of the believers thoughts and the religion. In baptism, Catholic Christians identify the cross as an artistic expression that shapes their human attitudes towards accepting Christ in ones life. Additionally, art making and expressions have the primary role of helping Catholic Christians to avoid dualism. The Roman Catholics believe in the existence of an unseen supernatural power greater than their individual selves. For the believers, they spiritually hold onto their faith and through the symbol or art of the cross, they can relate their spiritual lives with the reality.
Catechism of the Catholic Church is close tied to baptism, a common religious ritual in the religion. In Catechism, the believers perceive the art and the sign of the cross as a symbol of belonging to Christ. On the threshold of the celebrations associated with baptism, the art of Christs crucifixion signifies the victory of Christ and the grace of redemption after Jesus Himself died on the cross for the sins of the world. Significantly, Catholics also pray using a rosary, an artistic expression that too bears the cross. The close relations of the rosary and the cross are depicted when the Catholics pray. In their religious site, the Holy Catholic Church, it is a routine for the believers to pray while making the sign of the cross accompanied by the words In the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. By so doing, a baptized person dedicates their lives to God and also calls for Gods glory to spiritually guide him.
Being the ideology of people from diverse faiths coming into a mutual understanding intended to allow them to live in cooperation with each other regardless of their differences, various religious issues are associate with the interreligious dialogue. With this kind of dialogue, people lead a normal life as they come into daily contact with each other. Issues such as polarization between members of a society build up due to religious diversity and consequently building friction and hostility among the people. For instance, in Ireland, interreligious dialogue makes it clear that it is not an attempt at converting people from one religious faith into what they are not. Interfaith dialogue allows people to remain true to their own faith but dissolves polarization that builds up due to the diversities in faith. As a result, interreligious dialogue seeks to do the following:
i. To build confidence and understanding hence overcoming tensions.
ii. Destroy stereotypic barriers which build polarization, bigotry, and distrust.
iii. Increase mutual understanding and good relations among different religions.
Hanson, R. (2016). Baptism Symbols. Retrieved from http://baby.lovetoknow.com/baptism/baptism-symbols
A Journey Together. (2016). CHAPTER 1: WHAT IS INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE? Retrieved from http://www.coistine.ie/what-is-interreligious-dialogue
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