Catholic Kinaestheology

  • Darryl Wilkinson (Autor/in)
  • Severin Fowles (Autor/in)

Identifier (Artikel)


The study of Christian art is often synonymous with the study of Christian images. Yet in this article we adopt a different approach; examining a particular corpus of Christian art not as a collection of images, so much as the outcome of bodily gestures. Specifically, we analyze an extensive collection of rock art from the deserts of northern New Mexico as traces left behind by generations of Catholics, particularly the members of a lay fraternity known as the Penitentes. These penitents sought to manifest their piety through the pain and suffering incurred in the repetitive pecking of crosses onto basalt boulders. Even though the result of their actions was an image, we argue that privileging an iconographic analysis of such art fails to adequately capture the kinaesthetic theology that underlay its production.


Felsbilder, Katholizismus, Kinästhetik, Penitentes, Descansos