Religious Education and Beauty

Andrew Greeley and Paul Wink

in The Catholic Revolution

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780520238176
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520938779 | DOI:
Religious Education and Beauty

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The beauty of Catholic heritage inspires immense religious awe in the mass psyche and enables adherence to faith. Beauty, by way of brief introductory description, is a dimension of an object, event, or person. Religion does not speak in abstract concepts, religion speaks in stories, in the language of images. Human knowledge is primarily the knowledge of a story. The best contemporary Catholic theology agrees that of the three transcendentals inherent in being—Truth, Goodness, and Beauty—the Beautiful is primary in that it is the one we encounter first. In contemporary American Catholicism however, Beauty is cast away as an expensive option and Truth, usually the prepositional variant, is squeezed into the public psyche so they be as good as the accepted definition of Good. If accepted that spiritual depth can be gauged on the basis of the art it produces, American Catholic spirituality does not hold much water.

Keywords: Catholic heritage; abstract concept; transcendental; prepositional; American Catholicism; art

Chapter.  5640 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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