God and the Beautiful: Beauty as a Way to God

Richard Viladesau

in Theological Aesthetics

Published in print September 1999 | ISBN: 9780195126228
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853496 | DOI:
God and the Beautiful: Beauty as a Way to God

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The previous chapter engaged in theological aesthetics in the first sense of the term: the epistemology of perception of the transcendent. This chapter pursues the second sense: theological aesthetics as the consideration of beauty and of art in relation to the divine. It explores the connection of beauty with “natural theology.” It examines the possibility of seeing the beautiful as a “way” to God through a process parallel to the “transcendental” arguments of Rahner and Lonergan: God as the “condition of possibility” not only of thought and love, but also of the apprehension of beauty. The “proofs” for God are relevant to a theology of revelation because they attempt to discern its primary condition of possibility: the structure of mind insofar as it is implicitly capable of knowing infinite being and can hence assign meaning to the term God and can affirm, if not the reality, at least the debatability of its referent.

Keywords: theological aesthetics; God; beauty; art; divine; revelation

Chapter.  20361 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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