March 26, 2012
Professor Sven Arvidson, Director of the Liberal Studies Department, published "Artistic Reverence" in The Art of Social Critique: Painting Mirrors of Social Life (S. Bingham ed., Lexington Books, 2012). The article explores the practice of reverence in artistic planning and production, especially as it applies to social criticism and civic engagement.
“By integrating moral philosophy, art history, and sociology, I argue that art provides insight into the morality of our social world,” Arvidson said. “The article achieves this interdisciplinary integration through building on the works of philosopher Paul Woodruff and sociologist Richard Sennett.” Artistic reverence is articulated in terms of community feeling, ceremony in art, reverent mockery, self-awareness and head-hand skill. Discussed are artists Maya Lin ( Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.), Christo and Jeanne-Claude (Running Fence, The Gates), Diego Rivera (early Mexico City work and Detroit Murals), Pablo Picasso (Guernica), Christopher Marlowe (Dr. Faustus), Michelangelo (The Last Judgment), and others. Arvidson received his Ph.D. from Georgetown University. He has been on the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences since 1999. He founded the Consortium of Interdisciplinary Scholars, directs the Liberal Studies program, and is a Visiting Associate Professor of Philosophy. The College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college in Seattle University, offers 33 undergraduate and 7 advanced degrees.
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