Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Liturgical Arts Quarterly 1935: "Christian Art in the Far East"

Recently, I was quite delighted to pick up a complete set of Liturgical Arts Quarterly (LAQ) which ran from the early 1930's until the early 1970's -- and as a point of digression, looking at some of the last few volumes of this publication gives some rather interesting insights into that period of history; for example, theorized moon colonies and chapels and even a fictional correspondence from one of the "moon people" on the subject of the liturgy on the moon.

At some point, it might be of interest to compare some of the first issues of LAQ with some of the last, or to look at some touch points in the history of the journal, simply to see what -- if anything -- might be derived by such a consideration. I am reminded of the fact that while the journal spanned only four decades, within those four decades, a very great deal occurred historically, culturally and technologically, and perhaps some interesting trends might be observed.

While looking at the 1935 edition of the periodical (specifically, that of the first quarter) I came across some articles and images which caught my attention for the reason that they showed some examples of sacred art and architecture in parts of the Orient -- something we ourselves did only a few days ago when we featured some Japanese Madonnas.

In this particular instance, they not only showed some similar types of sacred imagery as we showed in the aforementioned post, they further showed a vestment and an altar. Aside from being of interest in their own right, they also provide further fruit for the consideration of how one might manifest the principle of inculturation -- and how that might have been expressed historically.

Let us first look at the chasuble, which is gothic revival in form, but which also employs Chinese motifs within the textile itself.

Also of interest is this altar in the "Chinese style" from Lanchow.

Finally, I would share this colour reproduction from the frontispiece of the same edition of the journal.

"Mater Amabilis" by Luke Ch'en
Painting on Silk
Catholic University of Peking

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