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Another view is religious pluralism. A pluralist typically believes that his religion is the right one, but does not deny the partial truth of other religions. An example of a pluralist view in Christianity is supersessionism , i. A third approach is relativistic inclusivism , where everybody is seen as equally right; an example being universalism : the doctrine that salvation is eventually available for everyone.

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A fourth approach is syncretism , mixing different elements from different religions. An example of syncretism is the New Age movement. Jews and Christians believe that humans are created in the image of God , and are the center, crown and key to God's creation, stewards for God, supreme over everything else God had made Gen ; for this reason, humans are in Christianity called the "Children of God". During the early Parthian Empire, Ahura Mazda was visually represented for worship.

This practice ended during the beginning of the Sassanid empire. Zoroastrian iconoclasm , which can be traced to the end of the Parthian period and the beginning of the Sassanid, eventually put an end to the use of all images of Ahura Mazda in worship. However, Ahura Mazda continued to be symbolized by a dignified male figure, standing or on horseback which is found in Sassanian investiture. At least some Jews do not use any image for God, since God is the unimaginable Being who cannot be represented in material forms.

The burning bush that was not consumed by the flames is described in Book of Exodus as a symbolic representation of God when he appeared to Moses. Early Christians believed that the words of the Gospel of John "No man has seen God at any time" and numerous other statements were meant to apply not only to God, but to all attempts at the depiction of God. However, later depictions of God are found.

Some, like the Hand of God , are depiction borrowed from Jewish art. The beginning of the 8th century witnessed the suppression and destruction of religious icons as the period of Byzantine iconoclasm literally image-breaking started. The Second Council of Nicaea in effectively ended the first period of Byzantine iconoclasm and restored the honouring of icons and holy images in general.

Even supporters of the use of icons in the 8th century, such as Saint John of Damascus , drew a distinction between images of God the Father and those of Christ. Prior to the 10th century no attempt was made to use a human to symbolize God the Father in Western art. A rationale for the use of a human is the belief that God created the soul of Man in the image of his own thus allowing Human to transcend the other animals.

It appears that when early artists designed to represent God the Father, fear and awe restrained them from a usage of the whole human figure. Typically only a small part would be used as the image, usually the hand, or sometimes the face, but rarely a whole human. In many images, the figure of the Son supplants the Father, so a smaller portion of the person of the Father is depicted. By the 12th century depictions of God the Father had started to appear in French illuminated manuscripts , which as a less public form could often be more adventurous in their iconography, and in stained glass church windows in England.

Gradually the amount of the human symbol shown can increase to a half-length figure, then a full-length, usually enthroned, as in Giotto 's fresco of c. The "Gates of Paradise" of the Florence Baptistry by Lorenzo Ghiberti , begun in use a similar tall full-length symbol for the Father. The Rohan Book of Hours of about also included depictions of God the Father in half-length human form, which were now becoming standard, and the Hand of God becoming rarer.

At the same period other works, like the large Genesis altarpiece by the Hamburg painter Meister Bertram , continued to use the old depiction of Christ as Logos in Genesis scenes. In the 15th century there was a brief fashion for depicting all three persons of the Trinity as similar or identical figures with the usual appearance of Christ.

Daniel In the Annunciation by Benvenuto di Giovanni in , God the Father is portrayed in the red robe and a hat that resembles that of a Cardinal. However, even in the later part of the 15th century, the symbolic representation of the Father and the Holy Spirit as "hands and dove" continued, e. In Renaissance paintings of the adoration of the Trinity, God may be depicted in two ways, either with emphasis on The Father, or the three elements of the Trinity.

The most usual depiction of the Trinity in Renaissance art depicts God the Father using an old man, usually with a long beard and patriarchal in appearance, sometimes with a triangular halo as a reference to the Trinity , or with a papal crown, specially in Northern Renaissance painting. In these depictions The Father may hold a globe or book to symbolize God's knowledge and as a reference to how knowledge is deemed divine.

He is behind and above Christ on the Cross in the Throne of Mercy iconography. A dove, the symbol of the Holy Spirit may hover above. Various people from different classes of society, e.

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They are depicted as floating in heaven with angels who carry the instruments of the Passion. Representations of God the Father and the Trinity were attacked both by Protestants and within Catholicism, by the Jansenist and Baianist movements as well as more orthodox theologians. As with other attacks on Catholic imagery, this had the effect both of reducing Church support for the less central depictions, and strengthening it for the core ones. In the Western Church , the pressure to restrain religious imagery resulted in the highly influential decrees of the final session of the Council of Trent in The Council of Trent decrees confirmed the traditional Catholic doctrine that images only represented the person depicted, and that veneration to them was paid to the person, not the image.

Artistic depictions of God the Father were uncontroversial in Catholic art thereafter, but less common depictions of the Trinity were condemned. In Pope Benedict XIV explicitly supported the Throne of Mercy depiction, referring to the "Ancient of Days", but in it was still necessary for Pope Pius VI to issue a papal bull condemning the decision of an Italian church council to remove all images of the Trinity from churches.

God the Father is symbolized in several Genesis scenes in Michelangelo 's Sistine Chapel ceiling , most famously The Creation of Adam whose image of near touching hands of God and Adam is iconic of humanity, being a reminder that Man is created in the Image and Likeness of God Gen God the Father is depicted as a powerful figure, floating in the clouds in Titian's Assumption of the Virgin in the Frari of Venice , long admired as a masterpiece of High Renaissance art.

In some of these paintings the Trinity is still alluded to in terms of three angels, but Giovanni Battista Fiammeri also depicted God the Father as a man riding on a cloud, above the scenes. In both the Last Judgment and the Coronation of the Virgin paintings by Rubens he depicted God the Father using the image that by then had become widely accepted, a bearded patriarchal figure above the fray. While representations of God the Father were growing in Italy, Spain, Germany and the Low Countries, there was resistance elsewhere in Europe, even during the 17th century.

In most members of the Star Chamber court in England except the Archbishop of York condemned the use of the images of the Trinity in church windows, and some considered them illegal. In the 43rd chapter of the Great Moscow Council specifically included a ban on a number of symbolic depictions of God the Father and the Holy Spirit, which then also resulted in a whole range of other icons being placed on the forbidden list, [] [] mostly affecting Western-style depictions which had been gaining ground in Orthodox icons. However some icons continued to be produced in Russia, as well as Greece , Romania , and other Orthodox countries.

Muslims believe that God Allah is beyond all comprehension and equal, and does not resemble any of his creations in any way. Thus, Muslims are not iconodules , are not expected to visualize God, and instead of having pictures of Allah in their mosques , typically have religious calligraphy written on the wall. These Manifestations are the great prophets and teachers of many of the major religious traditions.

Although the faith is strictly monotheistic, it also preaches the unity of all religions and focuses on these multiple epiphanies as necessary for meeting the needs of humanity at different points in history and for different cultures, and as part of a scheme of progressive revelation and education of humanity. Classical theists such as Ancient Greco-Medieval philosophers, Roman Catholics , Eastern Orthodox Christians , many Jews and Muslims , and some Protestants [a] speak of God as a divinely simple ' nothing ' that is completely transcendent totally independent of all else , and having attributes such as immutability , impassibility , and timelessness.

Many philosophers developed arguments for the existence of God, [5] while attempting to comprehend the precise implications of God's attributes. Reconciling some of those attributes—particularly the attributes of the God of theistic personalism—generated important philosophical problems and debates. For example, God's omniscience may seem to imply that God knows how free agents will choose to act. If God does know this, their ostensible free will might be illusory, or foreknowledge does not imply predestination, and if God does not know it, God may not be omniscient.

The last centuries of philosophy have seen vigorous questions regarding the arguments for God's existence raised by such philosophers as Immanuel Kant , David Hume and Antony Flew , although Kant held that the argument from morality was valid. The theist response has been either to contend, as does Alvin Plantinga , that faith is " properly basic ", or to take, as does Richard Swinburne , the evidentialist position.

There would be no risk, they say, if the arguments for God's existence were as solid as the laws of logic, a position summed up by Pascal as "the heart has reasons of which reason does not know. Many religious believers allow for the existence of other, less powerful spiritual beings such as angels , saints , jinn , demons , and devas.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the concept of a supreme "God" in the context of monotheism. For the general concept of a being superior to humans that is worshiped as "a god", see Deity and God male deity.

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For God in specific religions, see Conceptions of God. For other uses of the term, see God disambiguation. Supreme being, creator deity, and principal object of faith in monotheism. Many religions use images to "represent" God in icons for art or for worship. Here are some examples of representations of God in Christianity and various branches of Hinduism.


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General conceptions. Specific conceptions. In particular religions. Experiences Practices. Related topics. Main article: God word. Main article: Conceptions of God.

Main articles: Monotheism and Henotheism. Main articles: Theism , Deism , and Pantheism. See also: Evolutionary origin of religions and Evolutionary psychology of religion. Main article: Anthropomorphism. Main article: Existence of God. For the original text of the five proofs, see quinque viae.

Main article: Names of God. Main article: Gender of God. See also: Creator deity , Prayer , and Worship. Further information: God in Catholicism. See also: God the Father in Western art. Further information: God in Islam. Further information: Manifestation of God.

See also: Classical theism and Theistic Personalism. Mythology portal Philosophy portal Religion portal. Archived from the original on 3 March Retrieved 30 December Although in the Talmudic part of the Torah and especially in Kabalah G-d is referred to under the name ' Sh'chinah ' — which is feminine, this is only to accentuate the fact that all the creation and nature are actually in the receiving end in reference to the creator and as no part of the creation can perceive the creator outside of nature, it is adequate to refer to the divine presence in feminine form.

We refer to G-d using masculine terms simply for convenience's sake, because Hebrew has no neutral gender; G-d is no more male than a table is. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature , Vol.