The Place of Beauty in Preaching

Thomas H. Troeger

in Wonder Reborn

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780195398885
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866236 | DOI:
The Place of Beauty in Preaching

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The chapter discusses the challenge of defining what beauty is, and instead of offering a single conclusive statement, identifies eight “overtones” of beauty. These become the basis for examining the church’s historical ambivalence about beauty and art. Drawing on a wide range of theologians from past and present, the author develops a theologically informed aesthetic that provides a countercultural vision of beauty, one that challenges the diminishment of beauty to being healthy, young, rich, and lean. This theological aesthetic has implications for ethics because it provides preachers with ample room for looking at the terror and glory of life, at crucifixion and resurrection, and at the beauty of self-giving love that flows from the heart of God. It also guides preachers in how to use hymns, music, and poetry as primary resources for sermons that are genuinely biblical in spirit and substance.

Keywords: aesthetic; art; beauty; countercultural; crucifixion; overtones; preachers; resurrection; theologians

Chapter.  10610 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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