How does beauty function in the way you think about the world?

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  • This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 8 months ago by Laura Smit.
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    As a theologian, especially as a theologian who studies medieval theologians, I find it very natural to bring beauty into every topic that I teach. And it’s fairly easy for me to bring beauty into my writing and scholarship. But for people looking at the world from other perspectives, integrating beauty into their daily thinking and work may not be as obvious. So how important is beauty in the way you think about the world? the way you do your work? the way you understand your faith?

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by Laura Smit.

    I think it’s more obvious than you (Laura) might think to find beauty from other perspectives on the world. Any time someone looks at the world from a perspective that they find fascinating, they are looking for beauty in creation. All you have to do is ask people who love their work why they love their work. Most of the time they will tell you something about the beauty they see in the world.


    Jolene, I’m afraid that this past year has been so grueling in so many ways that I wasn’t giving attention to this forum. I’m very sorry that I never replied to this. But it’s a great comment.
    I agree with you that people look for beauty from many perspectives. That’s one of the ideas that drives this site. The point I was trying to make in my comment was that not everyone has an outlet to talk about beauty in the same way that I do. In my field, I can bring beauty into my work overtly; it’s a natural topic in my area of study. I can write papers on beauty and give conference presentations on beauty and start a website about it. But my suspicion is that many academics who see a lot of beauty in what they study don’t have an obvious way to bring that perception into their scholarship. It may add to the pleasure they take in their work, and it may come out strongly in their teaching, but for many it will not find its way into their public scholarship. That’s frustrating for me because I want to hear about beauty from all those perspectives. One of the goals Jim and I have for this site is that it will a meeting place where Christian scholars can enlarge one another’s experience of beauty by sharing our those perspectives. So how do I find the engineer, the kinesiologist, or the sociologist who is fascinated by beauty but has never published anything about it?
    This summer I’m embarking on an intensive project of interviewing people about their experiences of beauty. I’m especially (though not exclusively) talking to Christian academics, and I hope that you’re right and that ALL of them them will be able to tell me how beautiful their field of study is and how important beauty is to the work they do.

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