Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches
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I am not inclined to think that reflection on the conceptual foundation of “beauty” is a useless task – or at least no more so than a reflection on truth (philosophy) or the good (ethics).
I don’t think I was suggesting that, Praxiteles, it’s just that the linking of the three; Balthasar’s ”the good, the beautiful and the true” seems like such an antiquated notion.
Johnglas made the point earlier that perhaps there is a distinction to be made here between the creation of beauty in the form of works of art and architecture, on the one hand, and ‘beauty’ as an occassional human attribute, on the other, but many of the theologians/philosophers you quote don’t seem to make that distinction and if anything there seems to be a conscious effort to bring physical beauty into the mix.
Jesus, for example, is nearly always portrayed as a tall slender unblemished individual with a nobel face and good hair. That’s fine as an artistic convention, an idealized man created in the absence of much descriptive information, but if the implication is that Christ’s attribute of physical ‘beauty’ was somehow pre-ordained, as the third component of some ‘truth’ and ‘goodness’ triumvirate, that’s a bit non-PC for these days and a bit indefensible, philosophically, I would have thought.
Saint Thomas Aquinas’ aesthetic theory . . . follows the classical model of Aristotle, but with explicit formulation of beauty as “pulchrum transcendentalis” or convertible with being among the other “transcendentals” such as “truth” and “goodness.”
. . . . integritas, consonantia, and claritas . .
Latin a little rusty:), what would be the translations there?
Nobody doubts that Christianity was a huge factor in the creation of much of the world’s great art and architecture, but equally it has to be acknowledged that there have been great works of art and architecture that owe nothing to Christianity.
Beauty is up-lifting, there’s no getting away from that!, but equally, concepts of beauty change over time and whereas beauty as an aspiration is a useful goal in any artistic undertaking, I don’t know if I’d buy the theory that ‘beauty’ has anything approaching the fundamental properties of concepts like ‘truth’ or ‘goodness’, which themselves are hardly the property of any one faith system alone.
For a start, anyone can choose to live a life of truth and goodness, but, short of engaging the services of a plastic surgeon, many of us can’t really choose beauty!