Theology and Aesthetics

Richard Viladesau

in Theological Aesthetics

Published in print September 1999 | ISBN: 9780195126228
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853496 | DOI:
Theology and Aesthetics

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This chapter discusses the notion of “theological aesthetics.” In its wide sense, theological aesthetics includes “aesthetic theology” — that is, the use by theology of the language, methods, and contents of the aesthetic realm. The art of making theological discourse affecting and beautiful (“theopoesis”) is appropriate to all branches and kinds of theology. The application of aesthetic theory (e.g. literary analysis) to theological contents is most pertinent to those “functional specialties” that Lonergan names research, interpretation, history, and communications. The remaining specialties — dialectics, foundations, doctrines, and systematics — are the principal field of theological aesthetics in its narrower sense: the use of properly theological starting points, categories, and methods to formulate an account of (i) perception (including sensation and imagination), (2) beauty, and (3) the arts. Such an account may be formulated from the point of view of what Tracy calls “systematic” theology, or from the complementary perspectives of foundational and practical theology.

Keywords: theological aesthetics; aesthetic theology; aesthetic theory; perception; beauty; the arts; systematic theology

Chapter.  18772 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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