Christianity and Kitsch

Transpositions hosted a full week (6 – 11 Feb, 2012) of posts all about the relationship between Christianity and Kitsch.

Wikipedia defines kitsch as a “form of art that is considered an inferior, tasteless copy of an extant style of art or a worthless imitation of art of recognized value.”  As this quote suggests, kitsch is often defined in opposition to the modern concept of ‘fine art.’ Kitsch is also defined as incorporating parody or sentimentality. Jean  Baudrillard mused, that “to the aesthetics of beauty and originality, kitsch opposes its aesthetics of simulation: it everywhere reproduces objects smaller or larger than life; it imitates materials (in plaster, plastic, etc.); it apes forms or combines them discordantly; it repeats fashion without having been part of the experience of fashion” [1].  As such,  the concept ‘kitsch’ inevitably carries social, economic and political dimensions.

But why stop there?  Kitsch is also loaded with religious and theological import.  It is this dimension of kitsch that we explored in our symposium.  To do so, we brought together a number of excellent scholars and writers to engage with the subject   At the risk of over-sensationalizing a symposium on kitsch, we must say that you, dear reader, will not be disappointed.

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[1] Baudrillard, Jean. The Consumer Society: Myths and Structures. London: Sage, 1998, 111.