Pub. Date:
State University of New York Press
Environmental Values in Christian Art

Environmental Values in Christian Art

by Susan Power Bratton


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Discusses the expression of environmental values in Christian art as it displaced pagan aesthetics from the third century to the Reformation.

This book looks at what art reveals about the environmental values of Christianity. As western Europe transitioned to Christianity, pagan religious aesthetics changed or were displaced. Focusing on Christian art and architecture from early third-century Rome to seventeenth-century Netherlands, Susan Power Bratton examines this transition. She explores the relationship between Christ and nature in emergent Christian art, the role nonhumans play in this art, and how Christian art represents the ownership and management of natural resources.

The first section of the book discusses Christian art in imperial Rome and monastic Ireland’s contribution—from high crosses to the Book of Kells—and evaluates the claim that Christianity suppressed the positive portrayal of nature in pre-Christian art. The second section investigates changes in cosmology from the early Middle Ages through the Gothic era and examines their implications for environmental economics. The final section analyzes the paintings of the Italian Renaissance and Dutch Golden Age and the impact of an emerging scientific worldview on the spiritual meaning of the landscape.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780791472651
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 11/23/2007
Series: SUNY series on Religion and the Environment Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 292
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Susan Power Bratton is Professor of Environmental Studies at Baylor University and the author of Christianity, Wilderness, and Wildlife: The Original Desert Solitaire and Six Billion and More: Human Population Regulation and Christian Ethics.

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