The ways in which artists incorporate religion and spiritual faith into their work are as diverse as the varieties of religious experience. While artworks intended specifically for religious contexts often contain explicit religious content and narratives, the artists on this panel frequently incorporate their beliefs for more personal reasons and often far more subtly. This panel explores some of the varied ways religion and art can intersect.
Jack Miles, distinguished professor of English and Religious Studies at the University of California at Irvine and Senior Fellow for Religious Affairs with the Pacific Council on International Policy. A Pulitzer Prize winner and MacArthur Fellow, Miles is author of God: A Biography and Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God, and general editor of the forthcoming Norton Anthology of World Religions.
Ruth Weisberg is professor of fine arts and director of the Initiative for Israeli Arts and Humanities at the University of Southern California. Her paintings, drawings, and prints have been featured in over 80 solo exhibitions and are in the permanent collections of more than 60 museums. Weisberg's Jewish heritage informs much of her work.
Jose Bedia explores spirituality through large-scale figurative paintings, drawings, and installations. Bedia has practiced the Afro-Cuban religion Palo Monte since the early 1980s and his work includes references to pan-African spirituality and the indigenous Americas.
Junko Chodos draws inspiration from many religious traditions, including Buddhism, Shinto, Christianity, and Judaism. Her artistic production includes mixed media and collage, drawings on paper, and set design.
Makato Fujimura, an artist and writer rooted in traditional Japanese painting, exhibits internationally and lectures as an arts advocate across the globe. His work has included illuminating the Four Holy Gospels and collaborating with musicians and theologians to reflect his engagement with Christianity.
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