THC3310 Theology of Beauty
Educational Level: Upper undergraduate, Bachelor
Credit Hours: 3 Credits
An exploration of a biblical theology of beauty. The nature of beauty, and the aesthetic dimension more broadly considered, is the starting point. The student will focus on considering an aspect of Gods self-revelation generally overlooked when we speak about the doctrines of creation, fall, incarnation, redemption, and consummation, namely, the aesthetic aspect.
How This Course Benefits Students:
A theological view of beauty plays no part, with rare exception, in any of the traditional loci of theology and doctrinal courses that are offered in Christian higher education within a broadly evangelical perspective. The reasons behind this state of affairs are many, but a prominent one clearly would be the lack of consensus that exists on the validity of beauty as a proper locus of theology, or if it is affirmed, to which locus it belongs. In attending to a biblical theology of beauty, students may gain a fuller appreciation of the sublimity of Gods eternal plan, which reveals a consistent outworking of the beauty intrinsic to Gods own nature among the three persons of the Trinity. And with this appreciation we come to apprehend better the aesthetic entailment of how the whole of Gods plan is incomparably greater than the sum of its parts.
Why This Course Is Important:
Karl Barth poses a cogent rationale for the theological study of beauty, namely, that all concepts of universal significance need to be interrogated in terms of the name and the narrative of Jesus Christ. Beauty counts here, it is fair to say, as one such concept.