cat toys for theologians

Little bits to play with in an idle moment —
all from the Theology and the Arts conference on
The Offence of Beauty
at St Mary’s.

(What follows is what I heard.
It may even be what was said.
Apologies to anyone I’ve misquoted or misunderstood.)

Trevor Hart:

‘Beauty will not submit. It blesses us even as it refuses to give its name.’ (possibly quoting Kant??)

‘A Christian account of beauty cannot ignore evil, nor offer escapism, but it offers another story of salvation: human reality bathed in the light of God.’

‘We experience beauty as interruptive promise and anticipation… Our experience of beauty is an eschatalogical glimpse of what things will become.

Grant Macaskill

in a song on place, journey, relation to God:
‘So close to you
so far from you
a million miles of healing still to go.
You draw so close…’

Peter (a composer & theologian whose full name I never heard) talking about (or quoting) Messiaen:

‘Beauty is that degree of the awesome that we can still bear.’

Bernard Beatty

(and this time, I know he did not mean what I heard, though I knew what he meant too.)
‘the baroque eliminates orientation.’

‘that’s what I believe. And I am wrong because…’

Robert Jensen

‘God is unknowable because we cannot catch up with his revelation — because his outpouring of beauty never stops, it is never caught up with. Precisely because God is making himself known to us, he is always ahead of us.’

speaking of Ezekiel and kavod:
‘When the Lord throws his weight around, his weight is his shining’

‘Ezekiel’s vision of the shining man… is the same vision as the Transfiguration: Glory that arrives.’

‘God’s beauty is not the infinite serenity of his being (c.f. David Hart), but the infinite drama of his life.’

‘the enterprise of shocking the bourgeois has been running since the nineteenth century. Surely, if it hasn’t worked by now…’

‘Ezekiel… now, that man can drive you nuts.’

4 thoughts on “cat toys for theologians”

  1. Nice image Kimberly – I can just imagine Trevor Hart and Richard Bauckham reaching up and pawing at something tantalisingly out of reach. Theres a metaphore for faith in there, somewhere..

  2. Gosh, what a great set of contemplative phrases…will take these on the train to York and thence onto Cambridge with me…might even revisit Ezekiel. Hope you’re having a swell time.

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