Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology

God’s Manifestation in Beauty: Divine Aesthetics

Available Fall 2026

Beauty seems to have lost its place not only in art but even in the reflections of the discipline of aesthetics. Could it be that one can only lose God and beauty together? To show reality as beautiful, to tell stories with a happy end, to allow beauty to show the goodness of things – all of this seems to imply that, at bottom, that the world is good and meaningful. It is a form of theodicy, and the modern world will have none of it. Rather than beauty, it will express its “truth” about the world, and it tends to be bleak. What, by contrast, does it mean that art is beautiful, and that it is meaningful to imitate nature as God’s creation? Can beauty actually save the world, or perhaps not? Is the crucifix an expression of beauty? We will explore these questions with the help of some of the classical texts of aesthetics and from more recent proposals in theological aesthetics, but also by exploring examples of art and beauty.

Seminar Coordinators: Anselm Ramelow, OP & Bryan Kromholtz, OP

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