Aisthetic

English: By Rembrandt.

English: By Rembrandt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These ideas are taken from an article by Stefanie Knauss on the theology of the senses. I was happy to find a name for what I have come to know intuitively. I also know that I have prayed in this way all my life. I feel the direct contact with beauty is a way to know God. Stefanie calls this aisthetic theology. In the encounter with the arts, with the beautiful  our focus is on the sensory experience of the works and overcomes the tendency to intellectualize the aesthetic experience. It broadens the horizon of aesthetic theology by showing that theologically relevant  sensory experiences can be made not only through high art (Mozart‘s, operas, Rembrandt’s paintings, etc.) but there are many more forms of art that address the senses in manifold ways: taste in the art of cooking, smell in the art of perfumery, or touch in the art of textiles and design. I refer you to Brent Plate’s work  “The Skin of Religion”. This theology, inspired by the senses and inspiring the senses, can then make God be tasted and smelled,” for your love is better than wine, your anointing oils are fragrant, your name is perfume poured out, therefore the maidens love you” (Cant1,2-3)

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