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Lesson Plans

Christian Art

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sandra Hildreth (shildret)
Wed, 13 Mar 1996 00:30:05 -0500

> Does it have a place at all in the public school classroom?


You may have read my earlier posting about my Humanities class and how I
felt the DBAE approach I use has helped them accept seeing examples of
nudes in art. I also incorporate Christian Art when we study the fall of
the Roman Empire, Gothic & Romanesque times, and of course the Renaissance.
Now I teach in an area that is predominantly of Christian background, but
in any case, I treat the art work as art that is telling a story about life
during those specific time periods. By combining it with historical and
social events, it's not like I'm teaching religion, but how religious art
reflected what was going on in the world. Actually I'm very careful not to
preach anything, but, for example, after the Roman Empire falls it is the
very essence of early Christianity that sets the course for the Dark Ages.
If one was faithful and lived a Christian life, it didn't matter how
miserable or poverty stricken it was, when they died, they would go to a
glorious heaven. It wasn't so important to be able to read or to study the
classics, and that's part of the reason it was called the Dark Ages. What
art was done, was to decorate the churches, and much of it was very
stylized and rigid in form. In contrast, the Madonnas of Raphael are human,
loving women, cuddling the baby Jesus. It's important for kids to see how
the art is showing the changes in attitude, the Humanism of the
Renaissance, for example. (Of course I have been surprised how few knew who
the Madonna was - not the 'material girl'!). Hope this is helpful to you.

Sandra Hildreth <shildret>
Art 7-12, Madrid-Waddington Central School, Madrid, NY 13660
Art Methods, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY 13617

  • Maybe reply: Ken Rohrer: "Re: Christian Art"