Alain de Botton:
I’m very curious about the didactic approach that Christianity takes towards art. I love the way it builds museums and churches not to put pretty things in front of us, but to use pretty things to change us.
I can’t say I agree with the entire article (I find museums to be very inspiring), though I do like his idea of arranging museums not by style or period, but by the feelings they emote. As I’ve written about many times before, the best art is the art that changes us. The best art is created as gifts because gifts change us.
Perhaps art shouldn’t be “for art’s sake”, one of the most unambitious of all slogans. Why couldn’t art be - as it was in religious eras - more explicitly for something? And what if it was for making us kinder and better, more thoughtful and more generous?
Now that is something I can get behind.