This helps us to answer what a church or a museum should, in terms of its art, be about from a Christian point of view. It should be a machine for putting before us pictures, photographs and statues that try to change us, that propagandise on behalf of ideas like kindness, love, faith and sacrifice. It should be a place to convert you.
Church window Religious art is about inspiring faith
It's this effort at conversion, at change, that interests me. I'm a complete atheist and the specific direction in which Christianity tries to change people doesn't grab me. Nevertheless, I'm very curious about the didactic approach that Christianity takes towards art. I love the way it builds museums and churches not to put pretty things in front of us, but to use pretty things to change us.
I try to imagine what would happen if modern secular museums took the example of churches more seriously. What if they too decided that art had a specific purpose - to make us good and wise and kind - and tried to use the art in their collections to prompt us to be so?
... makes people say - WTF?
I think I'm with the WTF.