Article

Beauty and Divinity

Patrick Sherry

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the Arts

Published in print February 2014 | ISBN: 9780195176674
Published online February 2014 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195176674.013.002

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Beauty and Divinity

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Beauty is probably the least considered of God’s attributes nowadays. After looking at the Biblical, Platonic, and Patristic roots of the topic, the chapter discusses briefly a few modern writers who have treated divine beauty, especially Jonathan Edwards, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Simone Weil, and then some non-Christian sources. Next it considers first the world’s beauty, regarded as brought about through Creation (including works of art as inspired by God’s spirit), and secondly the beauty ascribed to God Himself. It reviews the grounds for such an ascription, including mystical experience and natural theology. It concludes by suggesting ways in which a recovery of the concept of beauty in theology might benefit the Church more widely, especially by fostering joy in worship.

Keywords: analogy; beauty; God; joy; mysticism; natural theology; psalms; worship

Article.  6669 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Subjects in Art ; Philosophy of Religion

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