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By Eric Michael Mazur

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Numerical designations, usually ‘‘First’’ or ‘‘Second’’ (occasionally down to ‘‘Fourth’’ or more, as in Chicago’s ‘‘Fourth Presbyterian’’), are often employed by denominations in the Reformed tradition, such as Presbyterians, Congregationalists (United Church of Christ), and Baptists, to indicate the order in which that church was founded in a particular community. ’’ The size and character of a parish plant can tell us a great deal about the nature of the community that has built and now supports it.

3. , 330. 4. Throughout this essay I will focus on arts in the West, particularly the United States, recognizing, however, that in recent years Eastern religious traditions as well as new religious movements have gained increasing influence in American society. 5. J. J. Johnson, prerecorded interview, NPR ‘‘Morning Edition,’’ 6 February 2001. 6. In Eastern traditions the situation can be somewhat different. For example, traditional Chinese and Japanese theories of art emphasize that works of art reveal the character of the artist.

The problem is compounded when religious artifacts—ritual masks or prayer wheels, for example—are displayed in museum collections or traveling exhibitions, completely out of their intended ritual contexts. Crispin Sartwell notes: We take an African mask, for example, and encase it in glass in a museum, then we try to appreciate it exactly as we try to appreciate Western paintings . . But what is missing is precisely the cultural context in which this mask operates: a celebration that includes music, dance, architecture, body decoration, and so forth, and has a very specific religious function.

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