Stairway to Heaven?

The sculpture, by Spanish artist Eugenio Merino (Madrid, 1975),  represents a Muslim worshipper, a Catholic priest and a Rabbi. The three of them are immortalized in the act of praying, each one in his own fashion: the Muslim bending, the Catholic kneeling and the Jew standing. The piece comes with the controversial title “Stairway to Heaven”. To a closer look, we see that the books of the three religions are inverted: the Jew prays with a Koran, the Christian with a Torah ( תורה ), and the Muslim with a Bible.

The artist obviously defends his work:  “It is not a work of art meant to offend. My idea is the coexistence of the three religions, joint in a common effort to reach God, in a literally way. I think the message is positive.”

  • Is the sculpture anti-Semitic, because it suggests once again the stereotype of the Jewish people ruling the world, standing on top of the column, closer to God? Or should that be taken as a compliment?
  • Maybe the sculpture is anti-Islamic, since the Muslim is crushed at the end of the pile. Or should that be taken as a compliment, meaning that Islam is at the base of world religions?
  • And what about poor old Catholicism, squeezed in the middle, the eyes closed? Or maybe the column is not meant to suggest a hierarchy?

How should we read this piece?

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About Jon Nelson

I am just a nobody trying to tell everybody about Somebody [Christ Jesus]!

Posted on March 4, 2010, in ...from Jon, Theology. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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