Saturday, January 18, 2014

The "way of beauty"

Robert Royal is always worth reading; and, as Guy Noir says, THIS is "a very good, and delicate, way of saying what needs to be said." He adds, however:
I will agree that an 'Apologetic of Beauty' is one approach, and one to which people who like good music, careful writing, and mind-boggling dense fantasy will warm. One point for Cardinals (and almost so) DeLubac, Ratzinger, and HvB.

But it is NOT by any convincing stretch a broad enough apologetic platform from which we can evangelize energetically. Nor one that can be easily circumscribed in a culture that is quickly coming to conflate Tarantino with Woody Allen, Kanye West with Leonard Cohen, Harry Potter with J.R.R. Tolkien, and Reality TV with Reality. Two points for Cardinals Siri, Ottiviani, and del Val.

And that is just a delicate way of saying if a Theology of Beauty is not the Emperors New Clothes, it certainly is the stuff of (a maybe very, very good) PhD dissertation. Which means most people won't read it, most people who read it won't understand it, and those who do understand it probably appreciated and agreed with the thesis from the start. And when it is turned into a book, no one but reviewers will read it!
[Hat tip to JM]

Related: "Balthasar's hope is hopeless" (Rorate, January 18, 2014).