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|Title: ||Creation's beauty as revelation : toward a creational theology of natural beauty|
|Authors: ||Edwards, L. Clifton|
|Supervisors: ||Brown, David|
|Issue Date: ||2011|
|Abstract: ||The thesis provides an account of how natural beauty functions as revelation and
contributes to theology. The central claim is that natural beauty ‘images’ aspects of
God’s nature and intentions within Creation’s artistic ‘text’—admittedly, most fully from
within a Christian perspective, but already potentially in any experience of beauty.
Chapter One presents an approach to ‘creational theology’—a methodological
understanding of how God can be known through the aesthetic rationality shared
between Creation and humanity. This understanding of creational theology outlines a
relationship between God and created beauty that is developed progressively with each
chapter. Chapter Two addresses the created side of this relationship by characterizing the
phenomenon of physical, sensory, ‘perceptual beauty.’ This perceptual beauty relates to
God as a created framework through which God can express aspects of his nature.
Chapter Three describes how such expression is apprehended in natural beauty, namely
through a Polanyian epistemic vision and symbolic practice, which engages beautiful
images within Creation’s art. Chapter Four applies this Christian vision and symbolic
practice, adapting John Ruskin’s concept of ‘typical beauty.’ Through this typological
approach, beautiful forms artistically image aspects of God’s nature and intentions.
Extensions of Ruskin’s approach also allow for further development of a creational
theology of natural beauty—that is, a theology underscoring the powerful interrelations
of God, beauty, and humanity, and the need to respond to beauty as a phenomenality of
God for his creatures.|
|Publisher: ||University of St Andrews|
|Appears in Collections:||Divinity Theses|
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