Você está aqui: Página Inicial / English

XIX Week of Studies in Religion


Religious communities are profoundly expressive.  They produce a wide variety of texts, rituals, and artifacts.  Traditionally, religious studies has given a certain priority to written materials produced by religious communities.

There was, in fact, consideration of gestures and spoken expressions.  However, these were always understood in relation to written texts or scriptures.

The basic reference in the analysis was semiotic constitution of written religious texts.  Religious communities without written texts or that were based on gestures and spoken expressions were seen as lacking structure.

However, since the visual revolution this framework changed drastically.  In human sciences, beginning in the nineties, there was a change in the studies of images, visualization and art.  The area gained an identity as a field of studies:  visual culture.  In this area of studies images are no longer considered as completing texts or a substitute for these, but gain their own semiotic status.

It is recognized that the visual text has its own structure, based in elements that compose images and the process of perceiving.

This change also reevaluated the role of images, of imagination and of seeing in human cognition.  New contexts are given value as iconic and metaphorical of cognition, human communication and even language.

The study of image did not lag behind in the field of religion, or find its first articulations in the area of Religious Studies.  Seminars, courses, congresses and publication inaugurated spaces for the exchange of ideas and reflections about the complex relation between images and religions.

These studies cover a very wide field that include the reevaluation of the history of art in the perspective of understandings of world religions, new perspectives regarding visual semiotics of religious structures, of the religious gestures and rituals of communities, and the professional use of media resources for its articulation and communication.

It deserves to be pointed out that the insertion of the concept of religion as a visual practice goes from the devotion to visual images and religious spaces to the piety promoted and fed by objects that were previously undervalued by the history of art, such as personal representation of saints, key rings and bumper stickers.

What is it that these diverse religious artifacts say about persons and their religious practices?  Or better, how are these practices constituted by visual practices?  What is the role of the spectator of images?  How does the viewer see the images?  As such, material and visual aspects previously ignored by Religious Studies gain attention in these analysis. 

These and many other question are at the heart of the XIX Week of Religious Studies, an annual event of the Graduate Program in Religious Studies of UMESP, that has as its theme:  Religion:  Visual Culture and Material Culture.  To deal with these themes we count on the collaboration and participation of national and international specialists in Religious Studies and different areas of study. 

Comunicar erros