How do Art and Religion Fit Together?

When art and religion are the real thing, they are the same thing. Because where there is truth and beauty, there is transcendence. Whether we’re painting the elegance of horses on a cave wall or composing music that sounds like angel choirs or re-seeing Jesus nailed to the cross in a passion play or tasting the sorrow of Romeo, we are taken out of ourselves into a realm beyond the ordinary, beyond the hard scrabble, the disappointing… from existence without meaning and death… into Light.

For when the heart is touched and the soul inspired, there is God. Our best works have always been when we gift the world with our vision of what really is. So, turn a theatre into a cathedral, or a cathedral into a theatre. Transform stone and mortar into an ode to majesty, a child’s bedroom into a butterfly forest. It’s the same thing. For here, in whatever space we divine, the sacred and the profane… life and death… joy and sorrow… hatred and forgiveness… terror and delight… all are fathomed. Here in these soulful, religious, holy and wholly artistic moments, we are one with God… and we know it!

By Susan Stewart Potter

Susan is an award-winning playwright and producer of theatre, television and film. She and her husband, Gabriel Messner are long-time Episcopalians, but new to the Cathedral, having moved here from Santa Barbara about two years ago.

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