'Wounded by the Arrow of Beauty': The Silent Call of Art

Heythrop Journal 54 (6):932-941 (2013)

One of the urgent tasks facing Christian educators at the present time is how they might encourage the spiritual growth of their students. This paper invites reflection on this central question by discussing the role aesthetics might play with particular focus on its relationship to the ‘spiritual senses’, a theme which has been strikingly absent from recent publications on religion and Christian education. Paying particular attention to the work of the contemporary French phenomenologist, Jean-Louis Chrétien, I shall argue that art invites us to listen to as well as to see the power of beauty. Educators should not ignore this capacity of art to engage the spiritual senses within a contemplative ethos of silence. But I go further than simply pointing to these seminal ideas about Christian formation, by discussing the ‘wound’ that beauty inevitably inflicts. I illustrate this suggestion by referring to Pope Benedict XVI's essay ‘Wounded by the Arrow of the Beautiful’ and to two visualizations of religion: Delacroix's painting Fight between Jacob and the Angel and Beauvois' film Of Gods and Men
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DOI 10.1111/heyj.12017
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References found in this work BETA

The Sovereignty of Good.Iris Murdoch - 1970 - New York: Schocken Books.
Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals.Iris Murdoch - 1992 - Allen Lane, Penguin Press.
Beauty: A Very Short Introduction.Roger Scruton - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
The Call and the Response.Jean-Louis Chrétien - 2004 - Fordham University Press.

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