A Wounded Innocence: Sketches for a Theology of Art

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Liturgical Press, 2003 - Art - 139 pages

What is the theological significance of art? Why has the Church always encouraged the arts? What is so profoundly human about the arts? In A Wounded InnocenceAlejandro R. Garcia-Rivera answers these questions in a series of sketches" that are mixed spiritual and theological reflections on various works of art written in a poetic style. These reflections explore the relationship between the multi-dimensional spiritual and the arts.

The first *sketch, - *The Beginning of Art, - introduces the rest that go on to explore further the human, artistic, and theological implications of a wounded innocence. Each *sketch - reflects on a particular human work of art. Some are conventional works of art. Others may never find their way into a museum but, then, that is one of the implications coming out of this book. A museum does not define what a work of art is, its human depth does. In these deeply studied yet spiritually written reflections on each work of art, it is hoped that the reader will find his and her own creative depth described, perhaps even revealed.

A Wounded Innocenceis both inspiring and informative. Readers will learn about art, spirituality, and theology, and will find themselves inspired to look at works of art, and even to produce a work of art. It sets a new way of doing theology that is at the same time spiritual. More importantly, Garcia-Rivera describes a theology of art.

Chapters are *The Beginning of Art, - *The End of Art, - *Human Freedom and Artistic Creativity, - *Heaven-with-Us, - *The Human Aspect of Atonement, - *The Tyger and the Lamb, - and *A Wounded Innocence. - Includes black and white art.

Alejandro R. Garcia-Rivera, PhD, is associate professor of systematic theology at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. The author of numerous articles, he also wrote a Catholic Press Association award-winning book on theology and aesthetics titled The Community of the Beautiful(The Liturgical Press).


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The Beginning of Art
The End of Art
Human Freedom and Artistic Creativity
The Human Aspect of Atonement
The Tyger and the Lamb
A Wounded Innocence

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Page 99 - What the hammer? What the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? What dread grasp Dare its deadly terrors clasp? When the stars threw down their spears, And water'd heaven with their tears, Did He smile His work to see? Did He who made the lamb make thee...
Page 67 - Whoever thou art, if thou seekest to extol the glory of these doors, Marvel not at the gold and the expense but at the craftsmanship of the work. Bright is the noble work; but, being nobly bright, the work Should brighten the minds, so that they may travel, through the true lights, To the True Light where Christ is the true door.
Page 27 - Whether Mr. Mutt with his own hands made the fountain or not has no importance. He CHOSE it. He took an ordinary article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view -created a new thought for that object.
Page 66 - Thus, when - out of my delight in the beauty of the house of God - the loveliness of the many-colored gems has called me away from external cares, and worthy meditation has induced me to reflect, transferring that which is material to that which is immaterial, on the diversity of the sacred virtues, then it seems to me that I see myself dwelling, as it were, in some strange region of the universe which neither exists entirely in the slime of the earth nor entirely in the purity of Heaven; and that,...
Page 62 - You may see many bodies under one head, and conversely many heads on one body. On one side the tail of a serpent is seen on a quadruped, on the other side, the head of a quadruped is on the body of a fish. Over there an animal has a horse for the front half and a goat for the back; here a creature which is horned in front is equine behind.
Page 10 - So also man can certainly enjoy purely intelligible beauty, but the beautiful whichis connatural to man is that which comes to delight the mind through the senses and their intuition. Such also is the peculiar beauty of our art, which works upon a sensible matter for the joy of the spirit. It would fain so persuade itself that paradise is not lost. It has the savour of the terrestrial paradise, because it restores for a brief moment the simultaneous peace and delight of the mind and the senses.
Page 28 - Every painter of our times is fully authorised to re-create that language from A to Z. No criterion can be applied to him a priori, since we don't believe in rigid standards any longer. In a certain sense, that's a liberation but at the same time it's an enormous limitation, because when the individuality...
Page 4 - ... farewell to our new world, a world of interests, leaving it to its own avarice and sadness. No longer loved or fostered by religion, beauty is lifted from its face as a mask, and its absence exposes features on that face which threaten to become incomprehensible to man.

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