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Saving Beauty: A Theological Aesthetics of Nature

Author: 
Kathryn B. Alexander (Author)
Collection: 
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Description

Kathryn B. Alexander argues that natural beauty is a source of religious insight into the need and way of salvation, and this project develops a theological aesthetics of nature and beauty with an aim toward cultivating a theological and ethical framework for redeemed life as participation in ecological community.
 
With interdisciplinary verve, engaging systematic, philosophical, and art theory systems of aesthetics, the volume fosters the cultivation of the sense of beauty through creative, religious, and sacramental experience. All three types, in fact, are critically necessary, as the author argues, in eliciting hope for ecological redemption. This volume makes a vital contribution to the systematic and philosophical framework for ecological theology, aesthetics, and theological ethics.
ISBN: 
9781451472233
Price: 
$39.00
ISBN: 
9781451487565
Price: 
$39.00
Release date: 
August 1, 2014
Pages: 
192
Width: 
6
Height: 
9

Contents

Contents:
Introduction
1: Natural Beauty: A Theological History     
2: Nature-Beauty and Salvation                                                     
3: Nature Revealed: Religious Insight in the Art of Andy Goldsworthy
4: A Theological Aesthetics of Nature 
Conclusion: Saving Beauty                                                                              
Bibliography                     

Endorsements

"Earth exhibits a fierce and tender beauty, the very thing that human beings have put at risk. In this truly beautiful book, Alexander presents with accessible erudition a vision of what might actually save the beauty we have so clearly squandered—a vision both ancient and refreshingly contemporary. For all Christians, not least those enamored with primarily juridical notions of salvation, this heart-opening book issues a clarion call to embrace divine beauty as the very source of beauty's salvation. It is both pioneering and familiar at once, a remarkable achievement."

—Jay Emerson Johnson

Pacific School of Religion and Graduate Theological Union

"This important book demonstrates that ecological concerns of our time, which we may have thought of as secular, are a central religious issue. In Saving Beauty, Kathryn Alexander argues persuasively that the experience of beauty is salvific. St. Augustine called God 'the great beauty'; had he lived in a time of ecological crises, he would have agreed that an environmental crisis is a spiritual crisis. Saving Beauty is required reading for Christians who take seriously the responsibility to care for creation."
—Margaret R. Miles
Graduate Theological Union

"In a time when environmentalism tends to focus on 'gloom and doom', Kathryn Alexander's important work reminds us that we need to cultivate our appreciation of beauty in the natural world, not just for 'saving nature' but also for our own redemption. Using concrete experiences to ground her writing, she takes us through a retrieval of nature in Christian theological aesthetics, Josiah Royce's understanding of beauty and the 'beloved community,' and the art of Andy Goldsworthy in order to develop a theological aesthetics of nature that understands humans as a part of nature and extends community to include the ecological."
—Whitney Bauman
Florida International University