Creation (MICHELANGELO'S CREATION OF ADAM (Where? ceiling of Sistine…
MICHELANGELO'S CREATION OF ADAM
ceiling of Sistine Chapel in Rome 16c
Creation is the act through which God made the universe
Story told in Genesis 1st book of the Bible
Genesis provides the foundation for Christian beliefs about creation, and about Gods nature as the creator.
BELIEFS SHOWN IN THE PAINTING
Adam not fully alive, waiting for God's touch to bring him to life -
shows that humanity depends on God for life - God is the giver of life
Adams shown as a perfect man full of strength and potential -
Reflects teaching God made everything 'very good' Gen 1:31 - creation is beautiful
God is shown bringing a human to life rather than another species -
Reflects the teaching that humans are unique as they are specially created by God and are in close contact with him
God and Adam are reaching out their hands to each other -
reflects the idea that there is a longing for a close relationship between God and Humanity
God is carried through the air by a group of angels -
show that God is transcendent and omnipotent
God look much older than Adam, the red cloth is said to be the womb of God -
Shows god is ancient and eternal while humanity is not - we are the children of God
God and Adam are both portrayed as humans and are lying in similar positions -
reflecting the teaching that humanity is made
We image God in a mysterious way - God is depicted in a brain -
shaped cloud/cloth God gives us intelligence - way that humans imitate God then are through their ability to gain wisdom, create, love and be spiritual.
WAYS THE PAINTING DOESN'T REFLECT CATHOLIC BELIEFS
Gen 2:7 says Adam was brought to life by God breathing into his nostrils rather than touching him
God and Adam are nearly the same size, suggesting that humans and God are equal
Some don't like that an eternal god is presented as an old man
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CREATION STORIES FOR CATHOLICS
In Gen 1:28, God tells Adam and Eve to 'subdue' the earth and 'have dominion' over every living thing. This suggests that humans have been given
power and authority to rule over other creatures.
In Gen 2:15, God puts Adam in charge of the Garden of Eden to 'till it and keep it'.
This suggests looking after the world with care and love.
These two verses teach Christians that they have a duty to look after the environment on behalf of God.
Christians believe the world is a gift from God, but God expects them to protect and care for the world in return.
'This responsibility for God's earth means that human beings ... must respect the laws of nature and the delicate balance existing between the creatures of this world.' Laudato Si 68
THE DIGNITY OF HUMAN BEINGS
Gen 1 states that God made humans
'in his image'
All humans are equal
all made by God and share his qualities
For Catholics this means that
all people have dignity
and are worthy of honour and respect
Catholics believe that everyone should respect their own and others dignity
THE SANCTITY OF LIFE
In gen 1, God blesses humans after he creates them
Catholics believe that
all creation is holy
because it has been created and blessed by God
The idea that life is sacred and holy - particularly human life - is known as the sanctity of life.
For Catholics, belief in the sanctity of life means that every stage of life should be treated with care and respect. This is important reason why Catholics are against euthanasia and abortion
OTHER CHRISTIAN ART AND CREATION
Early 20c - American artist created a number of mosaics for st Barts church, New York, USA
One shows the hand of God in the act of creation:
Lines extend from Gods hand to the edge of the circle (= edge of universe) -
Reflects the idea that god created everything in the universe, and that his influence and power touch all things
Gods hand is large compared to cloud above it -
helps to show gods power and greatness
COMPARING THE TWO PAINTINGS
Creation of Adam / Meiére’s mosaic
God’s nature Both show God is the creator
Both show God is powerful and eternal
How God is shown:
COA God is shown as an old man. Some Christians object to this as they think and eternal God should not be shown as an ageing man
MM- Only God’s hand is shown. Some Christians think this symbol of God’s creative power is more acceptable way of showing God, as God is infinite
God’s role in creation:
COA - Creation of Adam focuses on the act of God creating humanity, so it conveys more about the relationship between God an humanity
MM - Meiére’s mosaic is more abstract. It conveys a greater sense that God is always creating everything, but shows less about God’s relationship with humanity
GEN 1 CREATION + NATURE OF GOD
Gen 1 key points:
Description of God,s creation of the universe
God created universe in 6 days, using his power of his word to bring things into being
Rested on the 7th day
Unlike some Christians, Catholics do not believe that Gen 1 is meant to be a scientific account of creation. But believe it teaches important truths about God's nature and his role in creation
NATURE OF GOD
GOD IS CREATOR
God is the
creator, who has created
Significant for Christians as it means they should only worship one God
All of creation is special as it is all created by God and should be looked after and cared for
Gen 1:27 shows that God created humans in his own image, which means that
humans share qualities with God
(e.g. love and compassion). These qualities allow a close relationship with God.
GOD IS OMNIPOTENT
'God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.'
Omnipotent = all poweful
God has the power do what he wants, he can even create things from nothing.
Gen 1:31 says everything God made was 'very good'; God is so powerful that he can make everything exactly the way he wants it.
Belief in God's omnipotence inspires Christians to trust in God, as they know he has the power to do or change anything.
GOD AS TRANSCENDENT
God only needs his own word in order to create
; when he says 'Let there be..', that thing immediately becomes into being. God is completely above and beyond the world - he is transcendent.
The idea of transcendent also means
God is beyond human understanding
. Christians believe God cannot fully be described i human words, or fully understood by human minds; God's transcendence inspires awe.
GEN 2 CREATION + HUMAN NATURE
HUMANS SHARE THE SPIRIT OF GOD
'... then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.'
Gen 2:8 explains how God made humans in his image
God created Adam, the first man, by breathing into him
The Hebrew word for 'breath' id ru'ach, which is translated to 'spirit'.
This shows the that
humans share the spirit of God
; Gods spirit gives humans some of his qualities.
HUMANS ARE GIVEN THE GIFT OF FREE WILL
Free will given by God - Gen 2:
It describes how god made the Garden of Eden for Adam to live in
God tells Adam that he may eat from any tree in the garden apart from the tree of knowledge of good and evil
Although God 'commands' Adam not to eat from the tree, he doesn't actively prevent Ada from doing so. He gives Adam a choice: the free will to decide for himself whether or not to eat from the tree.
Free will doesn't mean that umans can do whatever they like without consequences.
Christians believe that using free will to sin in results in turning away from God, and this is why evil exists in the world. Using free will to live in a way that pleases God brings humans closer to God