He applied the Page 69 Test to his latest book, The Re-enchantment of the World: Art versus Religion, and reported the following:
In terms of revealing the central topic of the book, p. 69 is not a bad choice. The book is about art’s ambition in the modern period to be something more than either craft or a diversion for its own sake, and to constitute a serious spiritual alternative to religion in general, and Christianity in particular. This is a specially important ambition for a secular world that has in large parts left religion behind. P. 69 quotes Nicholas Wolterstorff who draws a striking parallel between one of the artworld’s institutions – the National Gallery – and the medieval cathedrals that are Christianity’s greatest and most beautiful shrines in which, he says “works of art have replaced relics.” My book systematically explores both the idea of artistic “replacement” like this-- in music, painting, literature and architecture -- and it offers a philosophical assessment of art’s success in this regard. So if someone came across p. 69 only, they would get enough of an idea of the book’s purpose to incline them to read more – if it’s a topic that interests them.Read more about The Re-enchantment of the World: Art versus Religion at the Oxford University Press website.
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