2011 – Religion, Nature and Art |Vatican Museums, Rome (Oct 13-14, 2011)
This conference was jointly sponsored by the Ethnological Museum of the Vatican Museums, headed by prof. Nicola Mapelli, and the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture. It examined the complex intersections of religion, nature and art. Sessions focused on broad cultural and geographic areas: “Asian Religions, Nature and Art,” “Renaissance Art, Religion and Nature,” “Indigenous Religions, Nature and Art,” “Spirituality-based Environmental Activism, Nature and Art”. Some general areas of presentation included: art symbolizing religious aspects of nature, nature itself as religious art, nature-themed religious art, art that expresses religious-based resistance to environmental destruction.
The conference also included unique opportunities to view art in the Vatican Museums, and of course, to enjoy Rome, Italy’s surrounding environment, with its own ancient treasures and historical legacies.
As part of the conference itself, at the Vatican Museums, we visited the exhibit “Rituals of Life: the culture and spirituality of aboriginal Australians” with the curator, Professor Nicola Mapelli (conference co-director along with Laura Hobgood-Oster), and co-curator, Professor Katherine Aigner, and on the concluding night we toured the Vatican Museums, without the usual crowds. The two-day conference provided wonderful opportunities for interdisciplinary learning. Speakers included Professors Bron Taylor, Kocku von Stuckrad, Laura Hobgood-Oster, Rick Stepp, Arnold Nesselrath, Nicolla Mapelli, and Katherine Aigner.
For more information about this wonderful event, see the Final Program below.