Skip to comments.Want Catholic Art? Fundamentalist Bob Jones University Has It
Posted on 11/28/2011 12:35:23 PM PST by marshmallow
GREENVILLE, S.C. Walking across the tidy campus of Bob Jones University, theres no obvious sign this bastion of Christian fundamentalism is also home to one of the nations largest collections of Renaissance and Baroque religious art from the heart of Catholic Europe.
Its all the more surprising since the schools old-time Protestant leaders have for years taught that Catholicism is a cult and even the Mother of Harlots.
You go into that gallery and its big, amazing paintings are really staggering, and you know you cant buy altarpieces like that anymore, said David Steel, curator of European art at the North Carolina Museum of Art and a longtime fan of the BJU collection. Theyre just not on the market.
Edgar Peters Bowron, who oversees European art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, agreed.
Its one of the best collections in the Southeast generally, and certainly in terms of Italian painting from the Renaissance through the Baroque, it is one of premier collections of Italian paintings in America, without contradiction, he said.
Just as surprising as the collection itself, however, is that the man who started it 60 years ago was Bob Jones Jr., the schools second president and the son of the universitys namesake.
The younger Jones was not only a purveyor of fine painting but also of the hoariest anti-Catholic tropes, calling the church of Rome a satanic counterfeit, for example, and drunk with the blood of the saints.
Yet the younger Jones, who retired in 1971 and died in 1997, so loved the arts that he was able to put these Old Master works in a category that superseded sectarian divisions. Like theologians centuries ago, Jones viewed the artworks as mute preachers that could instruct viewers about the Bible, the first and final arbiter of.........
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Truly astonishing. He saw that pictures speak a thousand words on biblical scenes. When he died was he still anti-catholic. I did not read the whole article yet.
Bob Jones Jr. was secretly in love with the harlot....
It has always been beyond me that some folks revile the greatest art work in Western Civilization. I recently had a freeper tell me that representations of Christ painted during the Renaissance made his skin crawl! Imagine: Leonardo’s Last Supper making one’s skin crawl.
That he loved the art is one thing. That he missed the point is even more astonishing. Truly, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him think.
Most are. Even the atheists and agnostics often are pining for Catholicism. It speaks to them. It speaks to their spirit and their deep need for God often on very deep levels that escape their logic. This is why they hate it too by the way. Otherwise they would just ignore it and be proud to be whatever they are.
curious. makes me want to ask this person what is it about the painting that seems to cause such a reaction. personally I find these sort of conversations enlightening for both parties.
“Truly, you can lead a horse to water, but you cant make him think.”
He would say that about you as well.
Their Museum website is here:
It gives you some idea of the kind of art they have. Worth a visit, I would say.
This info comes as a great surprise.....sort of.
The Jones family are certainly not cookie cutter duplicates. I have heard that one of the Bob Joneses who is alive today.....not sure what number he is....maybe the 4th or 5th.....is a Charismatic!
If true, that would be at least as big a shock as Bob Jones Junior’s fascination with Catholic art, would it not? My understanding of BJU is that charismatics are about as low, in THEIR book, as, maybe, Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Can any Freeper out there shed any light on the subject?
Bob Jones, Jr. was a most interesting character, very humorous and engaging personally with a good sense of humor. He could discuss virtually any topic quite knowledgeably. The article reveals that he was a lover of art and quite a collector. Jones was also an accomplished Shakespearean actor and took roles in plays put on at the university. But you didn’t want to discuss Catholicism or politics with him. He saw the abuses of the Catholic church over the centuries as its main characteristic instead of balancing that with the good it had done.
Amen. Hate results from a person feeling attracted or compelled by a person or group, but also perceiving a betrayal or a frustration due to incompatibility. That perceived betrayal or frustration ends up as hate.
Maybe. But I don’t have an expansive collection of classic fundamentalist artwork in my home. But then, fundamentalism merely dates to the nineteenth century, while the One True Catholic and Apostolic Church dates back two thousand years. So while he had the art HE MISSED THE MESSAGE.
In all seriousness, I am glad he saw some of the truth in that artwork. I still marvel at his missing the boat. That’s my take on it. Yours may vary. I still wish you well.
Don’t forget, Protestants hate beauty.
No less a Protestant authority than the Protestant Ralph Adams Cram once wrote:
From the outbreak of the Protestant revolution, the old kinship between beauty and religion was deprecated and often forgotten. Not only was there, amongst the reformers and their adherents, a definite hatred of beauty and a determination to destroy it when found; there was also a conscientious elimination of everything of the sort from the formularies, services, and structures that applied to their new religion. This unprecedented break between religion and beauty had a good deal to do with that waning interest in religion itself. Protestantism, with its derivative materialistic rationalism, divested religion of its essential elements of mystery and wonder, and worship of its equally essential elements of beauty. Under this powerful combination of destructive influences, it is not to be wondered at that, of the once faithful, many have fallen away. Man is, by instinct, not only a lover of beauty, he is also by nature a ritualist, that is to say, he does, when left alone, desire form and ceremony, if significant. If this instinctive craving for ceremonial is denied to man in religion, where it preeminently belongs, he takes it on for himself in secular fields; elaborates ritual in secret societies, in the fashion of his dress, in the details of social custom. He also, in desperation, invents new religions and curious sects working up for them strange rituals . . . extravagant and vulgar devices that are now the sardonic delight of the ungodly. ... If once more beauty can be restored to the offices of religion, many who are now self-excommunicated from their Church will thankfully find their way back to the House they have abandoned. The whole Catholic Faith is shot through and through with this vital and essential quality of beauty. It is this beauty implicit in the Christian revelation and its operative system that was explicit in the material and visible Churches and their art. We must contend against the strongest imaginable combination of prejudices and superstitions. These are of two sorts. There is first, the heritage of ignorance and fear from the dark ages of the sixteenth century. I am speaking of non-Catholic Christianity. Ignorance of authentic history, instigated by protagonists of propaganda; fear of beauty, because all that we now have in Christian art was engendered and formulated by and through Catholicism; fear that the acceptance of beauty means that awful thingsurrender to superstition. It is fear that lies at the root of the matter, as it does in so many other fields of mental activity. (Radio Replies, vol. 2: 1052)
Wow, Vlad. What a mind-blowing quote. Thank you for sending it to me. I cry for people who don’t understand the beauty and rituals of faith.
Do you remember me from a very contentious argument - I think it was birth control - where you and I were aligned? I just wanted to remind you because I really am impressed with you. Your pal, Miss M.
>>Protestants hate beauty.<<
Aw come on. That’s a pretty broad statement.
Not every one does.
Please don’t fall into the same trap that they do.
Yes he was an interesting character. I never had many conversations with him - but remember him fondly from school. Had a few - he did like to call my by my last name .. as it was Polish - and he just seemed to like to say it..
I remember him fondly. I graduated from Bob Jones in 1980 - so he was well along in years by the time I met him.
One day as I was leaving the dining common he was behind me .. called out my name and handed me a piece of cake .. laugh .. he decided he didn’t need it ..
I remember you Miss M. You’re a tough cookie. Keep fighting the good fight!
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