So another day walking around Rome might look like the last one, but I’m not sure how to feel about that?
Now that we have wandered into dozens of churches (easy to do in Rome), I’m starting to have some observations. While we neither walked through the Holy Doors of Saint Peter’s at the Vatican nor do the holy water thing when entering churches, we do go in with respect and reverence. Just being in the space is not only awe inspiring, but calming, meditative, and yes, I even occasionally pray. I’ve further observed that the myriad shrines & alters constitute a magnificent experience of art. Each one – and every church has several – is a synthesis of painting, sculpture, architecture, and more. Each one allows a person, often one at a time, to take in the art “in the light of reverence*” and merge one’s spiritual sense with an aesthetic sense. One honors the other.
Further, the sheer number of these places and spaces throughout the hundreds of chapels, churches, and cathedrals of Christendom represents an astounding output of artistic production. And while the parameters are quite defined, the variations are often surprising. Whatever the politics of religion, if one can surrender to the aesthetics of spirituality, one may feel transcendence. Perhaps the artists, in honoring all those saints, were the saints themselves…?
*”In the Light of Reverence” is a Sacred Lands Film Project produced by filmmaker Toby McLeod.
Related, here’s the Pantheon of Rome…
Speaking of religion, in our wanderings we can across “Family Day” in Circus Maximus (Jan. 30, 2016). From what I could tell this event was about Christianity and supporting the concept of a family being a man & a woman. (Not a lot of purple, or rainbows, or much fun, or many kids for that matter…)
A few more of Ancient Rome, and not so ancient…
The Tiber River, day & night…
- Research other churches and features of ancient Rome in the modern city of Rome. Do you see any of them above?
- Research religion, spirituality, and Gnosticism. How might these ideas relate to houses of worship?
- What has been the role of the Tiber River in Roman history?