Arts in the Religions of the Pacific (Religion and the Arts)

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9780304700585: Arts in the Religions of the Pacific (Religion and the Arts)

The Pacific region is a vast area, encompassing the sparsely populated islands of Polynesia and Micronesia, as well as the more populous and established cultures of Indonesia, Melanesia and Australia. This work emphasizes its primal - the so-called "primitive" or "tribal" - religious cultures as they are expressed in diverse art forms. These arts are related to vivid myths and rituals, which are in turn related to religious experience in these cultures. Since the religions arise among peoples with distinctive languages and traditions, this variety offers an instructive introduction to comparative religion in the sense of tracing the basic themes of religion in different forms and societies. The book covers a range of tribal communities and includes Maori and Aboriginal arts.

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The vivid art forms of Australia, Melanesia, Polynesia and New Zealand are rooted in their primal, religious cultures; this relationship with religious life is still very much apparent in the new and ever-evolving art forms of the modern Pacific world. Moore's well-illustrated volume examines this relationship between religious experience and diverse art forms, such as music, dance, masks and carvings, which have all come to symbolise life itself. Their geographical, historical and cultural contexts are explored by illuminating analysis, that draws on a variety of disciplines, including religious studies, anthropology and art history. Arts in the Religions of the Pacific, distinctive in relating the scholarly study of the world's religions to the arts of the Pacific, is the first title in a major series entitled Religion and the Arts.

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