What is Art? Is art useful in a pandemic?

In this lecture, Fr. Javellana teaches us how to read a painting, Pieter Bruegel's Dull Griet (Mad Meg). He discusses how artistic expression arises from human experience, and how it can help us make sense of the world's madness.

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René Javellana, S.J., is a Jesuit priest, writer, liturgical artist and art historian. He is currently an associate professor at Ateneo de Manila University, where he was the director of the Fine Arts Program and creative director of Jesuit Communications. He holds a master’s degree in theology.

His research interests include colonial architecture and art in Asia; renaissance imprints and cultural dissemination; heritage conservation; popular religion and globalization; art, spirituality and religion; contemporary visual arts; art and communication theory; film, media and society; and online education. His inclination to the study of arts was for the reason that he considers art as a catalyst and mediator of cultural change. His interests lie in the intersection of cultures and institutions and the intersection of eras.

The Magisterial Lecture series is a collection of selected talks from Ateneo classes, delivered by some of the University’s most respected faculty members. They are produced and shared for the benefit of learners everywhere. Magisterial Lectures will be available on Areté’s YouTube channel for free.

Magisterial Lectures is an Areté Production done in partnership with The Department of Communication, Loyola Schools and the Eugenio Lopez Jr. Center for Multimedia Communication.



In times of uncertainty, we find solace in each other, and turn to places online that allow us to learn, move, and interact remotely. We are proud to present Areté Connect: an online portal where you can access our programs no matter where you are.