Areas of Concentration
Religion and the Arts Concentration
"Art must make perceptible, and as far as possible attractive, the world of the spirit, of the invisible, of God. It must therefore translate into meaningful terms that which is in itself ineffable." John Paul II
The concentration in Religion and the Arts offers a wide variety of courses that reflect the interplay of religion and culture as mediated through the arts. Through their study and research, students in the MA (Theology) program discover how art interprets the human experience- learning what ails our contemporary society, what gives it life and joy, and how God is made manifest through the fine arts.
The unique combination of philosophy and theology provided in the concurrent MA program enables students in this concentration to connect philosophical inquiry to the study of religion and the arts. A two-semester course in philosophical aesthetics bridges the gap between philosophy and art through a careful examination of the philosophy of beauty (drawing on the works of Plato, Augustine, Aquinas, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Gadamer, Sartre, Maritain, Gilson, and others). Other philosophy classes provide different access points to address fundamental questions: What constitutes a work of art? What is human creativity? How does art touch the Divine?
The program offers a selection of classes focusing on various arts, from music, painting, sculpture and architecture to contemporary cinema. Students are also able to spend a semester in Rome, studying at the Angelicum and experiencing the artistic, architectural, musical, and liturgical splendor of the Eternal City. The Bay Area itself is also a rich resource for museums.
"DSPT has the strongest Art and Religion program I've found. It's definitely an interdisciplinary study, with strengths in all the areas: theology, philosophy, philosophical aesthetics. And you just won't get the same attention from faculty anywhere else- it's a dialogue that you really get to enter into."