Makom (Place)

Blue is “the spiritual in art” (Kandinsky).

Religion is “the opiate of the masses” (Marx)

In academic religious studies, it is the historical-political context that gives meaning to spiritual expression.

But in this image, I like how (a part of) the material object stands out in or on the blue background.

The blue in the photograph suggests a way to think about the “expression” of a material object in or on a spiritual plane.

 The term “expression” is from Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza. For Deleuze, the term denotes the explication of a modal phenomenon (spatial extension or thought) as an expression of substance and the implication of a modal phenomenon as part of substance. (About Deleuze, more later)

 A midrashic reading of Genesis identifies “God” as makom (place). God is “the place” of the universe, and not vice versa (Breishit Rabbah 68:9). I’m wondering why it can’t be both.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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