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Creative Spirituality The Way of the Artist

Robert Wuthnow

19 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0520239164 / ISBN 13: 9780520239166
Published by University of California Press
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Paperback. 319 pages. Dimensions: 8.8in. x 6.5in. x 0.9in.In a provocative book that explores the fascinating link between the creative and the sacred, Robert Wuthnow claims that artists have become the spiritual vanguard of our time. Drawing on in-depth interviews with painters, sculptors, writers, singers, dancers, and actors, Wuthnow includes the spiritual insights of accomplished artists who have gained prominence as Broadway performers, gospel singers, jazz musicians, poets, Native American painters, weavers, dancers, and installation artists. He profiles such national figures as novelist Madeleine LEngle, playwright Tony Kushner, photographer Andres Serrano, sculptor Greg Wyatt, dancer Carla DeSola, and woodcarver David Ellsworth. Situating these artists reflections in the context of wider cultural ferment, Wuthnow argues that spirituality is coming increasingly to focus on the inherently ineffable character of the sacredwhat artists refer to as divine mystery. As growing numbers of Americans doubt the adequacy of religious creeds in defining the sacred, they are turning to artists who seek a more intuitive sense of the sacred through symbols and imagery. These artists provide rich insights into the social and cultural problems of our time. Many have been shaped by the growing ethnic, racial, and religious diversity of the United States. Many are at the cutting edge of new thinking about body, mind, and spirit, and many are seeking ways to integrate their understandings of spirituality with interests in nature and preserving the environment. For readers interested in exploring contemporary spirituality or engaged in spiritual pursuits of their own, this engaging, elegantly written, and erudite book will answer many questions about the changing moral and spiritual role of creativity and the arts. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Bookseller Inventory # 9780520239166

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Creative Spirituality The Way of the Artist

Publisher: University of California Press

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:New

Book Type: Paperback

About this title

Synopsis:

In a provocative book that explores the fascinating link between the creative and the sacred, Robert Wuthnow claims that artists have become the spiritual vanguard of our time. Drawing on in-depth interviews with painters, sculptors, writers, singers, dancers, and actors, Wuthnow includes the spiritual insights of accomplished artists who have gained prominence as Broadway performers, gospel singers, jazz musicians, poets, Native American painters, weavers, dancers, and installation artists. He profiles such national figures as novelist Madeleine L'Engle, playwright Tony Kushner, photographer Andres Serrano, sculptor Greg Wyatt, dancer Carla DeSola, and woodcarver David Ellsworth.

Situating these artists' reflections in the context of wider cultural ferment, Wuthnow argues that spirituality is coming increasingly to focus on the inherently ineffable character of the sacred—what artists refer to as divine mystery. As growing numbers of Americans doubt the adequacy of religious creeds in defining the sacred, they are turning to artists who seek a more intuitive sense of the sacred through symbols and imagery.

These artists provide rich insights into the social and cultural problems of our time. Many have been shaped by the growing ethnic, racial, and religious diversity of the United States. Many are at the cutting edge of new thinking about body, mind, and spirit, and many are seeking ways to integrate their understandings of spirituality with interests in nature and preserving the environment. For readers interested in exploring contemporary spirituality or engaged in spiritual pursuits of their own, this engaging, elegantly written, and erudite book will answer many questions about the changing moral and spiritual role of creativity and the arts.

Review:

Creative Spirituality, an intriguing discussion on the artistic process, zeroes in on the mysterious place where creativity and the sacred meet. As more and more artists admit to seeking and experiencing divine inspiration, author Robert Wuthnow (After Heaven) decided to examine this important link. Relying on his expansive knowledge of spirituality and culture, he offers this groundbreaking book that speaks to the ways morality and spirit influence the modern arts.

Wuthnow profiles artists such as writer Madeleine L'Engle and playwright Tony Kushner to show how creators connect are inspired by the sacred. For instance, artist Nancy Chinn gleans inspiration from the Bible, as many renowned painters have before her. "A biblical character such as Eve, Lot's wife, or the daughter of Jephtha captures her attention, and she creates an image that expresses something about this character," Wuthnow writes of Chinn. Yet Chinn also feels that her art moves beyond interpreting a religious figure. "She believes there is a spiritual and material reality beyond herself, which interacts with her during the creative process," explains Wuthnow. Herein lies an important point: many artists often see themselves as spiritual vessels as well as creators. In other chapters, he profiles artists who have soothed their personal angst or a destructive childhood by creatively expressing their spiritual growth. Moving beyond the cozy, self-help tone of the The Artist's Way, this is an impressive and intelligent manifesto for creators, seekers, and art scholars alike. --Gail Hudson

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