We cannot understand our world. We cannot travel back in time to see how it was created. In fact, the notion of a beginning is inside the human mind. Any notion, therefore, of a god that created this world is abstract because it is not an object that is readily in our world. Art represents a way for humans to captivate what they believe happened and create it in a substance to endure time. ‘god’ is not here with us and cannot be founded through our senses unless we create ‘god’ in some relic. Art gives humans a way to make the intangible tangible or the unreal real. If god is all the natural structures behind what we see every day then art is another way to personify the underlining meaning we can never truly perceive. ‘god’ is abstract; art is concrete. By creating religious art humans try to make what they cannot experience through the senses into something that can be experienced by all. Since ‘god’ is dead we must create him order to justify our conception.
If ‘god’ is a hidden power that controls our world, it is only natural for humans to want to bring this ‘god’ to life through the art of creation. Just as language is the symbolizing of abstraction, religious art is the symbolizing of religious abstraction. What we cannot understand we define and symbolize in order to categorize our world and live in structure. There is no true image of ‘god’ therefore the human mind creates one, naturally, in order to cope with the dire lack of understanding. If ‘god’ is life and death, destruction and regeneration, then it is perfectly represented in the symbol of the Jesus figure. One can create an object in order to feel closer to a belief; the object representing the belief on behalf of comforting the masses individually and collectively. In this way, everyone can take part in ‘god’. Is it not more logical to think that man created god in his image rather than ‘god’ created man in his image? Humans are naturally story-tellers. Native Americans, for example, personified all realms of life. The sun and ocean were alive and could be communicated with and worshiped for community gain. Jesus functions much like this; he can be prayed to, believed in, and worshiped. When man could not understand the world around him he created stories to symbolize the earth’s happenings. Where must lightening come from? For sure there must be a man in the clouds throwing it down on us. We can only understand the world through ourselves and our experiences because anything else is beyond us. This is why ‘god’ gets a human face. Religion functions as a tool for the church or government to teach the citizens moral conviction. Art has also been used as a tool to teach morality. Religion and art go hand and hand in creating certain paradigms to pass along to the citizens. The government has employed artists in order to strike deep into the mind of the public. Before mass media occurred art was a main means of propaganda. If the church (hegemony) wants to propagate to the masses something that they cannot experience through senses, then it only makes since for the hegemony to create a ‘god’ that can be experienced through senses. Would a ‘god’ by any other name smell as sweet?