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?
W. David Taylor
How do the arts in worship form individuals and communities?
Every choice of art in worship opens up and closes down possibilities for the formation of our humanity. Every practice of music, every decision about language, every use of our bodies, every approach to visual media or church buildings forms our desires, shapes our imaginations, habituates our emotional instincts, and reconfigures our identity as Christians in contextually meaningful ways, generating thereby a sense of the triune God and of our place in the world.
Glimpses of the New Creation argues that the arts form us in worship by bringing us into intentional and intensive participation in the aesthetic aspect of our humanity—that is, our physical, emotional, imaginative, and metaphorical capacities. In so doing they invite the people of God to be conformed to Christ and to participate in the praise of Christ and in the praise of creation, which by the Spirit’s power raises its peculiar voice to the Father in heaven, for the sake of the world that God so loves.
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Reading for the Common Good
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