The Nexus of Prayer and Visual Art

Chris Alford: AFFN Contributing Member Dianne Collard is back with another terrific article, this time with a look at the places where visual art and contemplation and prayer come together.



VeraIconGerman19CenturySetting the context and stating the purpose of a paper probably should not be done in negatives— telling you what it is not. And yet it seems that is what I must do. This paper is an overview, a synopsis of some of the published writings on the subject. It is not a detailed analysis of the role of the visual in Christian practice. Likewise, I will not attempt to discuss the purpose of the visual in general worship services. There will be no discussion of the psychological issues regarding this subject, nor how postmodernism and the arts affect the language of spirituality. I will also neither attempt to be prescriptive nor pejorative.

What I do offer to the reader is an overview of the visual in devotional practices, as well as a short historical review of denominational distinctions. The paper will close with some examples of visual aids used in promoting devotion to God. I hope that it will encourage you to include visual art in your own devotional practices.


To download and read the complete paper, please click here.


Image above right: Vera Icon. Unknown German artist. 19th century.


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