Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

I dare you…

August 16th, 2010, Promulgated by Bernie






I stumbled upon an interesting post at the Totus Tuus blog today (from a June 29th post). Reproduced there are several images of tabernacles in Catholic Churches in South Korea. Now some things are cultural and we should keep that in mind. But…

I dare you to scoot on over to Totu Tuus to see the rest of the examples.



4 Responses to “I dare you…”

  1. Nerina says:

    Okay, Bernie. I took the dare and…help me out! Do you have some cultural commentary to explain these visually unappealing examples? Obviously I have had no exposure to Asian culture, but these are just awful to my Western-influenced mind.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I can’t help you. I find the forms, in some, rather appealing but inappropriate for use as tabernacles. I would expect to find them in a gallery or in the home of one of my art culture friends, or in the lobby of the headquarters of an international business. They require too much explanation; too much private, individual expression on the part of the artist and too much interpretation on the part of the viewer.

    The tabernacle is of Hebrew/Jewish origin and so, regardless of the local culture, should reflect -for the most part- an architectural or temple feeling. It does not seem appropriate to stray too far from that model. Otherwise, odd and distorted interpretations come into play. The purpose of the tabernacle should be apparent across cultural divides, in my view. Tradition is always the guide. No matter the culture, the artist needs to look at the tradition and create from that.

    Now, some will say.”Well, in early Christian art sculptural bird containers (doves) were used to reserve the sacrament.” Yes, that is true, and there has been some repetition of that idea down through the centuries but the architectural form dominates the tradition.

    Each culture has an temple building expression that should be the inspiration for tabernacle designs. Once again, I have to mention the Incarnation. Architectural form indicates a human designer, a human builder, and an occupant and so, in my opinion is more appropriate a form for reservation of the Body of the Incarnate God than forms that, for example, suggest natural or organic objects, or non-objective (totally abstract)objects. Asian cutures traditionally assign a far more integrated role for human beings in nature; different from a Western understanding. Christianity is a Jewish -and Roman- religion. We can’t properly understand it apart from its root expressions.

    (I also do not think it appropriate to use the form of a storage cabinet or box.)

  3. Bernie says:

    Anonymous at 12:53 is me, Bernie. Sorry.

  4. Nerina says:

    Actually Bernie, you did help me. And you gave me more to think about regarding tradition, art and expression. Thank you.

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