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[Dissertation] Art, Religion, and Spirituality in the Design Culture of the Postsecular Age

Author: Zoltán Körösvölgyi Title of Doctoral Dissertation: Art, Religion, and Spirituality in the Design Culture of the Postsecular Age

Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Doctoral School, Art Theory (Design Theory) / Design Culture Studies PhD

Budapest 2022

Pages: 200 Pages

Original Language: English (with an Hungarian Abstract)

Berndnaut Smilde: Nimbus Sankt Peter (2013). Self-made cloud in Sankt Peter Kunst-Station, Cologne. Photograph. (Screenshot taken from Dissertation, page 15.)

In today’s postsecular world, the increased focus on religion and spirituality is also tangible in the field of art. At the same time, not even the concepts involved are clear: the reception of works and artists generally considered as belonging to the category generally defined as contemporary sacred, receive varied judgments in theory, criticism, artistic and institutional practice, education, institutionalised religious as well as secular approaches, and, accordingly, is the subject of recurring debate. The research serving as the basis of this doctoral dissertation undertakes to map aspects of the wide horizon of this issue, to present related approaches, international and local discourses in Hungary, as well as artistic practices. To this end, the author presents the open-minded approach of inclusive Design Culture studies as a framework for research and interpretation. In order to apply the theoretical framework developed in the research, the author examines empirical research, educational programs, art and curatorial programs, and practices promoting the sharing of information and transcultural networking.Aware of the unfinished nature of the research process, the author aims to foster dialogue between actors in the field, and to point out that art related to religious and spiritual experience can suitably support futuring with its different modes, approaches and attitudes.

About the Author:

(Text and Picture, p.191)

Zoltán Körösvölgyi (b. 1967) is an art historian, communication and education professional, as well as a sailing coach with wide experience in marketing communication, branding, marketing, cultural company management, and university education. He is an experienced speaker, translator, curator, and journalist in both Hungarian and English.

Taken from the Author's Conclusion (p. 173):

"My contention is that that today’s art related to religion and spiritual experience offers a series of important lessons. It can help us discover how art can learn ethics from religion, as well as how religion can learn modes of reconnecting with the worshippers and the sacred from art and design. The recognition and utilisation of the commonalities between the two fields—including communality, the importance of solidarity, the clear focus on a common future and achieving that by means of caring for each other and our common home—can help us in achieving that. What seems essential for us is reconnecting knowing and doing, filling the gap of akrasia, linking thinking with acting, converting ideas into practice and action, enriching knowledge with lessons from practice, and recognising the comprehensive nature of our world. This can only be done by exchanging and generating thoughts through activities including education, networking, and working together in an inclusive and participative way."

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