By Niles Elliot Goldstein

The boundaries between creative inspiration and spiritual revelation are far more porous than many of us at first might think. For this reason and others, those in the field of art should respect religion (and those who practice it), and those who practice religion ought to respect artists (as well as their works).

Artists and religious thinkers have much in common and have been consumed by many of the same questions for centuries. The title of one of Gauguin’s masterworks is Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? 1,500 years prior to that painting, a Jewish sage asked: “Where have you come from? Where are you going? Before whom will you have to give an accounting?”

Both art and religion strive for transcendence, for breaking free from the bonds of the self and tapping into the world of the spirit. Both inspire, enrich, and challenge us. Both are partners meant to help us on the human journey.