God in Thought and in Imagination: Representing the Unimaginable

Richard Viladesau

in Theological Aesthetics

Published in print September 1999 | ISBN: 9780195126228
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853496 | DOI:
God in Thought and in Imagination: Representing the Unimaginable

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Schoenberg's Moses und Aron raises a wealth of interconnected problems for theological reflection. First there are questions regarding God and imagination: can God be imagined? Can God be thought? What is the relation between “idea,” “word,” and “image”? Between “feeling” and thinking? Second, there are questions regarding the nature of our relationship to God—that is, religion: How is God's transcendence reconciled with the human need for images and affect? Can human beings love a God who is truly transcendent? Third, there are issues that concern the place of art and beauty in our relation to God. Is God beautiful as well as sublime? Does God correspond to human longing? What is the place of the artist, the creator of images, in the representation of God's revelation? This chapter looks at the first two sets of questions, which belong to the realm of theological “aesthetics” in the Kantian sense: the theory of perception, imagination, and feeling with regard to God and revelation.

Keywords: Schoenberg; Moses und Aron; theological aesthetics; perception; imagination; feeling; God; revelation

Chapter.  14871 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christian Theology

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