This whole notion is rooted in the realization that Christianity is not just involved with “salvation” but with the total man in the total world. The Christian message begins with the existence of God forever and then with creation. It does not begin with salvation. We must be thankful for salvation, but the Christian message is more than that.
Francis Schaeffer, Art and the Bible, 89.
Why did we ever force the Africans to use Gothic architecture? It’s a meaningless exercise. All we succeeded in doing was making Christianity foreign to the African. If a Christian artist is Japanese, his paintings should be Japanese, if Indian, Indian.
Francis Schaeffer, Art and the Bible, 76.
“I think gold was meant to be seldom seen, and to be admired as a precious thing; and I sometimes wish that truth should so far literally prevailed as that all should be gold that glittered, or rather that nothing should glitter that was not gold.
John Ruskin, The Seven Lamps of Architecture, 50.
Architecture is the art which so disposes and adorns the edifices raised by man, for whatsoever uses, that they sight of them may contribute to his health, power, and pleasure.
John Ruskin, The Seven Lamps of Architecture, 8.
"This picture establishes the direct relationship between vision and knowledge for which the Dominican Aquinas had argued in his Summa Theologica. Just as we still use the phrase "I see" to mean "I understand," For Aquinas the word visio meant more than just vision. "This term," he writes, "in view of the special nature and certitude of sight, is extended in common usage to the knowledge of all the senses and it is even made to include intellectual knowledge, as in Matthew 5:8: ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’" The Pisa altarpiece, like most Gothic images, was not considered primarily as a work of art by its contemporaries, but as something far more powerful and instrumental, because of its capacity not just to reflect the world, but to reshape it in God’s image."
-Michael Camille, Gothic Art – Glorious Visions, 25.
Gothic art was and continues to be a technology for engaging beholders in certain forms of visual communication. It is user-friendly, compared to earlier and later visual regimes. Medieval cathedrals, like computers, were constructed to contain all the information in the world for those who knew the codes. Medieval people loved to project themselves into their images just as we can enter into our video and computer screens. In this respect Gothic artists, such as the Italian Giotto (c. 1267-1337), were the first to experiment with what we call “virtual reality.”
Michael Camille, Gothic Art – Glorious Visions, 15.
…Children ought to be provided with property and resources of a kind [referring to the tools of philosophic knowledge and learning] that could swim with them even out of a shipwreck. These are indeed the true supports of life, and neither Fortune’s adverse gale, nor political revolution, nor ravages of war can do them any harm. Developing the same idea, Theophrastus, urging men to acquire learning rather than to put their trust in money, states the case thus: “The man of learning is the only person in the world who is neither a stranger when in a foreign land, nor friendless when he has lost his intimates and relatives; on the contrary, he is a citizen of every country, and can fearlessly look down upon the troublesome accidents of fortune. But he who thinks himself entrenched in defenses not of learning but of luck, moves in slippery paths, struggling through life unsteadily and insecurely.”
~Vitruvius, De architectura (The Ten Books on Architecture), book VI. 1st century B.C.
All the gifts which fortune bestows she can easily take away; but education, when combined with intelligence, never fails, but abides steadily on to the very end of life.