The Sacred Duty of Art

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There is a long line of scholarship on the demiurgic function of art, attesting to its timeless origins in many communities’ sacred rites and beliefs. Enshrined in imagery, symbolism, fiction and myth, the arts command the deep-seated forces of the human imagination, both individual and collective. UNESCO’s founders were aware of this and insisted that the organization’s scope exceed the ‘solely political and economic arrangements’ between nations, and envisaged its task of ‘wide diffusion of culture and the education of humanity’ as a ‘sacred duty’ of these nations. Today’s increasingly interconnected and multicultural global setting calls for renewed thinking and research into how art can and does make a difference.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2010

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