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The Catholic Studies Reader$
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James T. Fisher and Margaret M. McGuinness

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823234103

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823234103.001.0001

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Visual Literacy and Catholic Studies

Visual Literacy and Catholic Studies

(p.235) 11 Visual Literacy and Catholic Studies
The Catholic Studies Reader



Fordham University Press

This chapter argues that acquisition of visual literacy should enjoy a high priority in Catholic Studies practice, not simply because of the Catholic Church's familiar role in fostering visual arts, but also because across much of Christian history, spiritually-enriching visual materials were more accessible and more efficacious than written texts; these visual materials inspired theological reflection and helped shape Catholic devotional and liturgical practices. In treating religious architecture, this chapter further demonstrates how the construction of sacred space also shapes religious experience, modeling for readers opportunities for field work undertaken by students as an integral component of Catholic Studies pedagogy.

Keywords:   Catholic Studies, visual literacy, visual arts, visual materials, religious architecture, religious experience, sacred space, theological reflection, devotional practices, liturgical practices

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