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The Ecumenism of Beauty

The sacred image can express more than words themselves, thanks to the efficacy of its power to communicate and transmit the Gospel message

Joseph Ratzinger

From the aesthetic imageless theology of Jean Calvin in Jerome Cottin’s Calvin and the visual arts: the aesthetics of Soli Deo Gloria to Fotis Kontoglou’s more byzantine iconography and criticisms of western religious art to ecumenist 3D art, “The Ecumenism of Beauty” explores a range of theological traditions and the art and images they produce.

Artists have always been a art of the church’s mission and human creativity is a natural response to an encounter with the God who creates. Art plays a special role in the life and aesthetic tradition of the church and I think this is an underplayed and underutilized resource for theology and personal devotion and inspiration.

Something I really enjoyed about this book is the personality of each contributor. Differences are not ignored, but the subject of each essay is explored and the authors freely discuss their unique points of view.

The book is not long, numbered just over 100 pages, half of which are pictures. The book could easily be read in one sitting, but I would greatly recommend taking time with it, reflecting on these pieces of art as it is presented along with all its meaning.

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