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The Weight of Bodily Presence in Art and Liturgy

Department of Philosophy, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX 78666, USA
Academic Editor: Christina M. Gschwandtner
Religions 2021, 12(3), 164;
Received: 2 February 2021 / Revised: 26 February 2021 / Accepted: 2 March 2021 / Published: 3 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phenomenology and Liturgical Practice)
This essay addresses the question of virtual church, particularly on whether or not liturgy can be done virtually. We will approach our subject from a somewhat unusual perspective by looking to types of aesthetic experiences which we have been doing “virtually” for a long time. By exploring how we experience art in virtual and physical contexts, we gain insight into the corresponding experiences in liturgical practices. Drawing on Mikel Dufrenne, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Gabriel Marcel, I first examine the importance of the body when we experience “presence” in aesthetic environments. Next, I consider the weight of the body in experiences of presence in liturgical practices, both in person and virtual, guided again by Gabriel Marcel as well as Bruce Ellis Benson, Emmanuel Falque, Christina Gschwandtner and Éric Palazzo. Through these reflections, I argue that what art teaches us about the significance of the physical closeness of the human applies to the practice of liturgy and that, while unexpected benefits will surface in virtual settings, nothing replaces the powerful experiences that arise when the body is physically present. View Full-Text
Keywords: art; liturgy; body; presence; church; virtual; aesthetics; digital art; liturgy; body; presence; church; virtual; aesthetics; digital
MDPI and ACS Style

Venable, H.L. The Weight of Bodily Presence in Art and Liturgy. Religions 2021, 12, 164.

AMA Style

Venable HL. The Weight of Bodily Presence in Art and Liturgy. Religions. 2021; 12(3):164.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Venable, Hannah Lyn. 2021. "The Weight of Bodily Presence in Art and Liturgy" Religions 12, no. 3: 164.

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