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Body Mind Spirit Art

Stone carved erotic sculptures in Hindu temple in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India

Stone carved erotic sculptures in Hindu temple in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India

There ought to be a word or term for it. For art that brings together sexuality and spirituality, the carnal and the religious, the sensual and the ethereal. There isn’t one. Maybe if there were a name for it, there would be more of it. And those of us interested in this topic would know where to find it.

We now have categories such as visionary art, visionary fiction, edgy Christian fiction, edgy spirituality, paranormal romance, and erotica. None of those precisely describe the topic.

People in surprising numbers google terms including exrotic art, eroric art. And less imaginative spellers look for tantric art and erotic spirituality. Still, it’s an idea without a category.

And the main exemplar of the nameless form is ancient — created about a thousand years ago in Khajuraho, India. Those Hindu and Jain temples adorned with sexually active figures have carried the flag pretty much on their own for a millennium. (Some of them examined closely I find a trifle unsettling, not that that’s necessarily a bad thing.)


Aside from these, a lot of what little I’ve seen of spiritual erotic art has struck me as a little tacky, not so admirable aesthetically.

But then there may be more work than I know.

I’m asking here for good ideas for names of the genre of sexual spiritual art, body mind spirit art, that is visual or written. Sperotica? Religiotic art? Nope. These sound like a joke. And the subject is no joke.

I’d also love to know of examples of work that are both good art and address this touchy subject.

And I don’t think that these need to be sexually explicit to deal well with the subject. I’ve always felt that Robertson Davies’ Deptford trilogy managed to give the feel of erotic spirituality through the mysterious aura these stories produce.

Please help me in putting together a list.

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  • Bob Dick
    July 9, 2015 at 7:17 pm Reply

    can’t help with a genre name, but I believe some of theruins of South American early peoples’ temples embodied aspects of erotica.

    • Peggy Payne
      July 9, 2015 at 11:17 pm Reply

      Oh, yes, I’m remembering that overgrown temple ruin off the path in the jungle in Chichen Itza, where I got the worst bug bite of my life. The temple seemed more a shrine to masculinity than to sex though. Maybe there was some female imagery there that was harder to see.

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