Theology of Beauty

Speaker(s): Laura Smit
Date: July 14 - 25, 2008
Length: 14:20:09
Product ID: RGDL3828S

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In his Confessions, Augustine cried out to God, 'Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient and so new, late have I loved you!' It seemed natural to Augustine and to many thinkers since to understand God as Beauty Itself, the source of everything beautiful. 'Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change' (James 1:17). Among the good and perfect gifts God has given us is the experience of beauty, an experience that shows us something of God's own nature. This course examines the theology of beauty through the work of theologians such as Augustine, Anselm, Bonaventure, Edwards and Balthasar. It also considers the insights of artists and poets, such as Fra Lippo Lippi, Dante, Rembrandt, J. S. Bach, John Milton, Gerard Manley Hopkins, C. S. Lewis and Wendell Berry. However, this is not a course in the theology of art, but in the theology of beauty. We are concerned first of all with what it means to understand God as Beauty and then with the question of how the beauty of the creation, most especially the beauty of other people, may serve to direct us back to God.

See All Audio by Laura Smit

Laura Smit PhD (Boston University), Mdiv (Calvin Theological Seminary), BA (Calvin College) is Dean of Chapel and Associate Professor of Theology at Calvin College. She is the author of Loves Me, Loves Me Not: The Ethics of Unrequited Love.

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