Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quote

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Contents

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pp. viii-x

Acknowledgements

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pp. xi-xii

Abbreviations

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pp. xiii-xiv

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Preface

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pp. xv-xviii

This book proposes a dogmatic approach to theological aesthetics. While interdisciplinary engagement between theology and the arts is increasing, there remains a need for deeper reflection on beauty itself amid the wealth of material that emerges from this joint venture. The great model for any theological exploration of beauty remains...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-52

G. K. Chesterton, in a show of disgust at the sight of a row of telegraph poles, once pronounced, “A straight line is always ugly. Beauty is always crooked.” What Chesterton overstates is true; beauty is not contained within the uniform or the symmetrical—the merely neat—but branches out in unexpected ways like a tree. Christianity...

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1. The Simple Beauty of the Trinity

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pp. 53-100

In the introduction, I argued against basing a theology of beauty on the analogia entis and proposed that theology possesses its own resources to develop an aesthetics. This dogmatic approach to aesthetics makes use of the traditional notion of beauty as a transcendental by making the triune God revealed in Christ the...

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2. The Cruciform Beauty of Christ

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pp. 101-142

In the previous chapter, I argued that beauty is predicated of the triune being by “running it across the three.” Trinitarian theology supplied a way to consider the proportion or shapeliness of the Godhead, and I considered the way in which the tradition has viewed the Spirit as beauty. I will now give my attention to the role of Christology in aesthetic discourse...

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3. The Contingent Beauty of Creation

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pp. 143-172

In the previous chapter, I argued that Christology provides the point of encounter between divine beauty and the world. Because Christology prevents the resolution of all finite creaturely beauties into absolute infinitude—which Hegel does—it allows theology to conceptualize God’s relation to the contingencies of history without...

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4. The Beauty of the End

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pp. 173-234

In the previous chapter, I argued that the distinctiveness of creaturely beauty arises from the fact that, for creatures, essence and existence are not identical. Creaturely beauty is gloriously ephemeral, heightening the sense of its contingent givenness. However, the perished beauties of creation share in the potent hope of resurrection. Christian hope entails a future in which divine beauty perfects human beauty...

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Conclusion

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pp. 235-238

“God’s infinite beauty is that Christ died to bring all history to its crisis and was raised for all.”1 Robert Jenson’s theology demonstrates a theological aesthetic that grounds all beauty in the events of the gospel. Where David Bentley Hart, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and others maintain distance between God and creation by way of...

Bibliography

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pp. 239-256

Index

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pp. 257-263

Back Cover

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