I was recently asked by a friend for some recommendations of theology books on beauty, for a class he will be teaching. I gave him a few suggestions, but I was reminded in the process that there is quite a deep well of books on similar topics, not least of which is Hans Urs von Balthasar’s massive (and massively expensive) 7-volume work, The Glory of the Lord.
So, I offer this introductory list of theology books on beauty, with the realization that these few books will get us started thinking in this direction, but they only scratch the surface.
*** What theology books on beauty would you add to this list?
Michael Mears Bruner
The good news of Jesus Christ is a subversive gospel, and following Jesus is a subversive act. These notions were embodied in the literary work of American author Flannery O’Connor, whose writing was deeply informed by both her Southern context and her Christian faith. In this volume in IVP Academic’s Studies in Theology and the Arts series, theologian Michael Bruner explores O’Connor’s theological aesthetic and argues that she reveals what discipleship to Christ entails by subverting the traditional understandings of beauty, truth, and goodness through her fiction. In addition, Bruner challenges recent scholarship by exploring the little-known influence of Baron Friedrich von Hügel, a twentieth-century Roman Catholic theologian, on her work. Bruner’s study thus serves as a guide for those who enjoy reading O’Connor and―even more so―those who, like O’Connor herself, follow the subversive path of the crucified and risen one.
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