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?
Jeremy Begbie has been at the forefront of teaching and writing on theology and the arts for more than twenty years. Amid current debates and discussions on the topic, Begbie emphasizes the role of a biblically grounded creedal orthodoxy as he shows how Christian theology and the arts can enrich each other. He explains the importance of critically examining key terms, concepts, and thought patterns commonly employed in theology-arts discourse today, arguing that notions such as “beauty” and “sacrament” are too often adopted uncritically without due attention given to how an orientation to the Triune God’s self-disclosure in Christ might lead us to reshape and invest these notions with fresh content. Throughout A Peculiar Orthodoxy, Begbie demonstrates the power of classic trinitarian faith to bring illumination, surprise, and delight whenever it engages with the arts.
“Representing a substantive contribution to theological aesthetics, these essays involve a lively and richly suggestive exposition of the work of the Trinity in and through the arts. Here the reader is invited to encounter the Triune God afresh–and to be inspired with affection for such a God. From start to finish, this book is a feast for the heart and mind.”
—W. David O. Taylor