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If These Walls Could Talk

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ISBN-10: 0814633404

ISBN-13: 9780814633403

Edition: 2012

Authors: Maureen H. O'Connell

List price: $39.95
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Philadelphia's community muralism movement is transforming the City of Brotherly Love into the Mural Capital of the World. This remarkable groundswell of public art includes some 3,500 wall-sized canvases? On warehouses and on schools, on mosques and in jails, in courthouses and along overpasses.In "If These Walls Could Talk," Maureen O'Connell explores the theological and social significance of the movement. She calls attention to some of the most startling and powerful works it has produced and describes the narratives behind them. In doing so, O'Connell illustrates the ways that the arts can help us think about and work through the seemingly inescapable problems of urban poverty and arrive at responses that are both creative and effective.This is a book on American religion. It incorporates ethnography to explore faith communities that have used larger-than-life religious imagery to proclaim in unprecedented public ways their self-understandings, memories of the past, and Visions of the future. It also examines the way this art functions in larger public discourse about problems facing every city in America.But "If These Walls Could Talk" is also theological text. It considers the theological implications of this most democratic expression of public art, mindful of the three components of every mural: the pieces themselves, those who create them, and those who interpret them. It illuminates a kind of beauty that seeks after social change or, in other words, the largely unexplored relationship between theological aesthetics and ethics.
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Book details

List price: $39.95
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Liturgical Press
Publication date: 6/1/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 336
Size: 7.00" wide x 10.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.848
Language: English

Foreword The Effect of Public Art on the Social Fabric of Communities
Philadelphia: Spaces and Stories
From Behind the Mask
Spaces, Stories, and Method
The Ghetto as Symbol
Murals: Painting Philia
Peaceable Kingdom
Painting Walls
Painting Community
Painting the Signs of the Times
Codes: The Impasses of Poverty
Songs of Hope
Code of the Streets
Code of Whiteness
Code of Creativity
Prisons: From Degradation to Restoration
The Complex
Beauty: Arts and the Body Politic
Born Again
Holy Experiment: Religious Imagery in the Public Square
Doorways to Peace
Visual Public Theology
Visual Civil Piety
Interfaith Creativity
Appendix: Imagining the Signs of the Times
Theological Aesthetics and Contemporary Christian Ethics
Sources for an "Aesthetic Ethics"
What Remains Unimagined