Even the beautiful must die

October 24, 2007

crucifix

“According to the self-understanding of Christian faith, there is only one single appearance of truth which – despite all parallels to the beautiful pre-appearance of the truth – follows another law. That is the revelation of God. It is distinguished from the epiphanies of the beautiful in that the origin of all light appears in this event, and indeed appears in such a way that it does not radiate in the light of the world as does the beautiful, but rather appears hidden sub contrario. The event of revelation cannot therefore be subordinated to the category of the beautiful.” …

Eberhard Jüngel, “‘Even the Beautiful Must Die’ – Beauty in the Light of Truth”, in Theological Essays II

Read the rest at Theologia Viatorum. Incredibly interesting quote from Jüngel (and I thank Patrick McManus for posting it). I wonder how this would compare-contrast with von Balthasar, especially in light of his critique of Protestant aesthetics in Seeing the Form, where he criticizes Protestants as too often stuck in a sub contrario dialectic, unable to ground a theological aesthetics.