Theology in the Details

Perhaps you’ve seen it.

Michelangelo’s Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome is glorious.

And, he is naked.

There’s a lot of nakedness on the ceiling of that church.

And, not just physical nakedness.

The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is one of the most familiar collective works of art in the world. The figures of Adam and God are the most famous. But, stare at the wrong details and you’ll miss the art.

Look at God.
Look at Adam.

Michelangelo gave no title to individual scenes. Titles can detract from important details. They can put frames around ideas that are meant to be understood as part of a greater whole.

Look again at Adam.
Look again at God.

Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling standing on a scaffold looking up.

And when Michelangelo was not painting, he was pouring over the Old Testament Scriptures.

Details became details in an artistic vision exploding from the hand of God: human baseness can be changed into glory.

(No thanks to ourselves.)

Perhaps you’ve seen it.