edited version of this paper was published in Leonardo, Vol. 31,
No.1, pp21-31, 1998, ISSN 0024-094X
A recent proliferation
of writings on the spiritual by scientists suggests that this may be an
appropriate time to re-evaluate the spiritual in twentieth-century art.
This paper looks at three artistic groupings: Kandinsky and the Bauhaus,
the American Abstract Expressionists, and the contemporary electronic
arts, and traces the influences of some spiritual movements on them. The
paper then turns to spiritual in modern science, observing that quantum
theory has been the main starting point for many physicists to write about
God. The question is examined as to whether science at this juncture is
more receptive to the spiritual than the arts; whether art can mediate
between science and the spiritual, and whether the spiritual is antecedent
to both arts and science.