Is AI art sacrilegious?

AI generated art has proven a contentious concept, and as it continues to rise in ubiquity thanks to the advent of new tools including Adobe Firefly and OpenAI's Sora, questions surrounding ethics, copyright and the existential threat to creativity continue to surround the tech.

Many designers wouldn't hesitate to call AI art sacrilegious. But what about when it comes to 'sacred' art? In the era of the infamous Pope in a puffer jacket, it's clear that not even religious imagery is safe from the rise of AI. We caught up with theologian and art historian Robin M. Jensen to talk about the impact of technology on religious art, and whether AI art can indeed be considered sacrilegious. 

Robin M. Jensen
Robin M. Jensen

Robin M. Jensen is the Patrick O’Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame (USA) where she also holds faculty positions in Art History and Classics. Her research focuses on the intersections of early Christian theology, ritual practices, and material culture. Among her published books are Understanding Early Christian Art (Routledge, 2024), Face to Face: Portraits of the Divine in Early Christianity (Fortress, 2004), The Substance of Things Seen: Art, Faith, and the Christian Community (Eerdmans, 2004), Living Water: Images, Symbols, and Settings of Early Christian Baptism (Brill 2011), Christianity in Roman Africa: The Development of Its Practices and Beliefs (Eerdmans, 2014), The Cross: History, Art, and Controversy (Harvard University Press, 2017), and From Idols to Icons: The Emergence of Christian Devotional Art in Late Antiquity (University of California, 2022).

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.