Profane Visual Piety

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  • Title: Profane Visual Piety: Warhol, Benjamin, and the Dark Side of Masculine Christianity
  • Author(s): Markus Weidler
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Religion in Society
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society
  • Keywords: Visual Piety, Pop Art, Cynicism, Feel-Good Religion, Masculine Christianity, Culture Heroes, Charity Industry
  • Volume: 8
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2154-8633 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2154-8641 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2154-8633/CGP/v08i02/13-25
  • Citation: Weidler, Markus. 2018. "Profane Visual Piety: Warhol, Benjamin, and the Dark Side of Masculine Christianity." The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society 8 (2): 13-25. doi:10.18848/2154-8633/CGP/v08i02/13-25.
  • Extent: 13 pages

Abstract

As influential critics of culture, Andy Warhol and Walter Benjamin continue to attract a lot of scholarly attention, while the theological and political points of contact between their projects have gone unnoticed, for the most part. To bring out how these connections relevantly speak to certain worrisome trends in our post-secular social landscape, the present article engages these two interventionists under the rubric of “profane visual piety.” According to this approach, the profane and the pious do not directly exclude or cancel each other. Rather, profane visual piety is explored as a technique of resistance against the rituals of an aggressive type of feel-good religion, which I diagnose in terms of “joyous cynicism”: a phenomenon that embodies the dark side of masculine Christianity within the context of contemporary capitalist spirituality.