Category Archives: Non-Western Art

Jesus did tonglen

I worked for four years at a Buddhist publishing house, and “tonglen” was a topic I came across many times. It’s a Buddhist contemplative practice in which the practitioner breathes in the pain and suffering of others and breathes out … Continue reading

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Karel Teissig’s Black Jesus

At the end of the TV miniseries Killing Jesus that premiered this March, several contemporary Jesus artworks scan the screen. I recognized many of them, but one that was new to me and that I really like is a crucifixion … Continue reading

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The Open Arms of Jesus

Jesus standing there with open arms. Ready to receive us, forgive us, embrace us. A big smile. A bright glow. This is perhaps one of the most familiar images of Jesus in popular culture, as evidenced by the slew of … Continue reading

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In Song and Picture: Christus Victor

Listen: “Death Has Lost Its Sting.” Words by Isaac Watts (based on Psalm 3), 1707; adapted by Rebecca Dennison, 2011. Music by Mike Cosper, 2011. Performed by Sojourn (featuring Megan Shaffer), 2011.   Look: ____________ For their album The Water … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Art of Conversion: Christian Visual Culture in the Kingdom of Kongo by Cécile Fromont

From the accession of Afonso I to the Kongo throne in 1509 to its final dissolution in 1914, the Kongo in central Africa was a Christian kingdom whose status was recognized throughout the early modern Atlantic world. Remarkably, Christianity developed … Continue reading

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Is giving Christ African features heretical, or at the very least neglectful?

I’m currently studying the book African Theology in Images by Martin Ott, a 600-page exploration of the African Christian art that has come out of the Kungoni Centre of Culture and Art in Mua, Malawi, since its founding in 1976. … Continue reading

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Stations of the Cross by Bruce Onobrakpeya

The following fourteen linocut prints were created in 1969 by Nigerian artist Bruce Onobrakpeya (b. 1932) of the Urhobo people. They are in the Collection of the SMA African Art Museum in Tenafly, New Jersey. The photos were taken by … Continue reading

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New Arab face of Christ

While living in Darat Al Funun, Amman, Jordan, Brazilian artist Jonathas De Andrade developed a project called Looking for Jesus, which involved him photographing local men and then taking those photos around with him as he interviewed other locals about … Continue reading

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Folding Passion icon from Ethiopia, ca. 1900

Last week I posted photos of some of the Yoruba Christian art housed at the SMA African Art Museum. Now I’d like to share a few from the museum’s Ethiopian collection. Christianity has existed in Ethiopia since the first century … Continue reading

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“Africanizing Christian Art” exhibition in Tenafly, NJ

Through July 30, 2014, the African Art Museum of the Society of African Missions is hosting an exhibition called “Africanizing Christian Art,” curated by Nicholas J. Bridger. About a half-hour drive from New York City, the museum is located in … Continue reading

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