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?
Brendan Thomas Sammon
What if there is more to beauty than meets the eye? What if beauty named more than the human response to a thing’s appearance, but instead named the very presence of God in the world? And what if beauty provided a power enabling human beings to think in novel and creative ways, to see with new eyes? This book explores the various ways in which the Christian theological tradition has provided responses to these questions. Taking its starting point from the view that beauty is above all a divine name, this book explores the consequences that such a starting point has not only for the human experience of beauty but also for the way in which beauty penetrates to the very heart of human nature, uplifting and inspiring human thought and action to ever new frontiers of existence. In its experience of beauty, so this book argues, the human spirit encounters the divine presence in unexpected and transformative ways, such that one may come to see that not only is God beautiful, but God is beauty itself!
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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com