Theological Aesthetics

Anonymous woodcut. Dancing Peasants (16th C.). Staatsbibliotek, Berlin

Whoever writes about religion and art comes into contact with two sorts of people: Christians of the most varied stamp, and connoisseurs of art. Both are rather difficult to get along with. —Gerardus van der Leeuw Stay awhile with Gerardus van der Leeuw (1890-1950). His lyrical and provocative analysis of consonance—and distance—between beauty and holiness is indispensable for any lover of the subject. There was no one better prepared than he—poet, theologian, philosopher, historian of religion—to write a theology of art or discuss the problems of a theological aesthetics. Continue Reading
Beauty: Fragment on a Theme

I am neither a theologian nor a philosopher. I am simply a painter whose faith takes color, tone, and bearing from the Catholicism into which I was born. But even a cat can look at a king. From my place—well beneath the box seats of beauty-minded theologians and theological esthetes—I wonder if Hans Urs von Balthasar’s legacy is as wholly salutary as it has become fashionable to believe. This is a risky confession, my brothers and my sisters. I know that. Continue Reading