October 20, 2020
We’ve all experienced walking into a church in which the architecture and/or the sacred art was… let’s say "unpleasant" to the point of distraction. And we’ve all had the experience of entering a church whose beauty draws us into the mysteries of the Faith and upward to God and to worship. Sacred art can and should have a profound effect on our spiritual lives.
David Clayton has been thinking about sacred art for many years. Prof. Clayton moved to the US from his native England in 2009 and was for several years artist in residence at Thomas More College in New Hampshire where his icons adorn the college’s chapel. Currently he is Provost of Pontifex University where he designed their unique Master of Sacred Arts program, a formation in creativity for all (not just artists). His blog and podcast are at thewayofbeauty.org. His books include Painting the Nude - The Theology of the Body and the Representation of Man in Christian Art and The Way of Beauty, a book our Wyoming Catholic College seniors read in their study of art.
David Clayton was here in Lander delivering a lecture to the college last Friday entitled “Why Sacred Art is Necessary to the Faith.” Saturday morning before a bit of Wyoming hiking, Prof. Clayton was kind enough to record this interview about sacred art and beauty.
If you’re interested in watching David Clayton’s entire presentation, you can access it at the college website, wyomingcatholic.edu.
June 23, 2020
“One will observe,” wrote St. Thomas Aquinas, “that all things are arranged according to their degrees of beauty and excellence, and that the nearer they are to God, the more beautiful and better they are.”
While we hear the word “beauty” a great deal today—beauty products, beauty salons, beautiful people, “that fish was a beauty”—it’s safe to say that few people are thinking about beauty in the very Medieval way of St. Thomas, that the experience of beauty today is different than it was for Thomas’s contemporaries.
The question of the Medieval experience of beauty is one that Dr. Jason Baxter has been exploring this summer in a class for our friends at The University of St. Thomas and will continue to explore during the fall semester while he is on sabbatical.
March 13, 2018
“I begin this book, on the humanities,” writes Wyoming Catholic College Associate Professor of Fine Arts and Humanities, Dr. Jason Baxter, “with a description of travel, because I think the experience of being immersed in a world of surprises, like I was in Ischia, and the experience of reading a ‘great book’… is fundamentally analogous.”
Dr. Baxter goes on to write that his just-released book Falling Inward: Humanities in the Age of Technology is an answer to the question, “How is the profound sense of travel like the experience of reading?” Both are fundamentally the experience he calls “falling inward.”
To discuss his book and the meaning of its title, Dr. Baxter is our guest this week on The After Dinner Scholar.
Order Dr. Baxter's book, Falling Inward from Cluny Media or Amazon.
June 6, 2017
While Dr. Peter Kwasniewski is Professor of Theology and Philosophy, he also teaches courses on music and art, emphasizing the importance of the beautiful along with the good and the true.
Ignorance of the great works of music, he wrote at The Imaginative Conservative, “is as bad for someone who seeks to be educated in Western (and Catholic) culture, as ignorance of Dante and Shakespeare in literature, Plato and Aristotle in philosophy, Augustine and Aquinas in theology.”
Dr. Kwasniewski is this week's guest on The After Dinner Scholar.
April 4, 2017
Gothic cathedrals are certainly wonders of architectural imagination and engineering ingenuity. But, according to Dr. Jason Baxter, Wyoming Catholic College’s Assistant Professor of Fine Arts and Humanities they are far more than that.
"The Gothic Cathedral," says Dr. Baxter, "is architecture of contemplation. Born in the great age of the masters of the interior life, the cathedral gave physical shape to contemplation, but it also invited it, incited it, evoked it, performed it within. In a word, it created silence, a richness of experience that is wordless only because it is too deep for words."