Hts Theological Studies 72 (4):1-7 (2016)

The article investigates the potential of mysticism to revitalise theology. It firstly traces how aesthetics was understood in theology and provides reasons for this view. It then investigates how the predominant epistemological approach in theology privileged conceptual knowledge and relativised aesthetics as being subjective and therefore unreliable. It gives special attention to this epistemology by spelling out how the intellectualisation of contemporary theology intensified the process of obfuscating and sidelining aesthetics. In a third part, the article spells out the consequences of this position by analysing how theology is becoming a disenchanted enterprise. The article then investigates how aesthetics often is taking over the role of theology and its formative role in social discourse. It focuses on the epistemological nature of this turn towards aesthetics, arguing that aesthetics with its profound notion of beauty, is increasingly reappraised as a legitimate, but different kind and source of knowledge. The article then argues how aesthetics can reinvigorate theology as a source of knowledge together with conceptual knowledge. It ends by investigating how theology can be re-enchanted by learning from the prominent role and invigorating forms of aesthetics in mysticism.
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DOI 10.4102/hts.v72i4.3462
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References found in this work BETA

The Blackwell Guide to Aesthetics.Peter Kivy (ed.) - 2004 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Aesthetics and Sacred Music.Gordon Graham - 2014 - Faith and Philosophy 31 (3):243-255.
Theopoetic.Amos Niven Wilder - 1977 - Religious Studies 13 (3):357-359.

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