Thursday, January 05, 2006

Aesthetic Apologetics

I think Peter Leithart deserves to be better-known. He contributed one of my favourite essays in Leland Ryken's The Christian Imagination and has a great article, For Useless Learning, over at First Things (I think), which is a breath of fresh air for poor humanities students like me. Here he is, on a topic that is of interest to many here in The Agora:
Christian apologetics tends to focus on ethical or rational arguments. Questions such as "Can we be good without God?" and "Does that being exist than which nothing greater can be conceived?" and "What are the transcendental conditions of knowledge?" have dominated the field. A good historical argument can be made, however, that a complete Christian apologetic must assemble all three of the "transcendentals," not only the true and good, but the beautiful. Judgments concerning beauty are proverbially subjective, and perhaps this is one reason why Christians have not been attracted to an aesthetic apologetic. But the appeal would not be to point to this or that beautiful thing; rather, it would point from the existence of beautiful things to the intuition that there is a Beauty beyond beauty.
Read the rest here.

1 comment:

jacksons said...

I have always wanted to look into the philosophy of beauty.