Academic journal article Theological Studies

The Beauty of God's Presence in the Fathers of the Church: The Proceedings of the Eighth International Patristic Conference, Maynooth, 2012

Academic journal article Theological Studies

The Beauty of God's Presence in the Fathers of the Church: The Proceedings of the Eighth International Patristic Conference, Maynooth, 2012

Article excerpt

The Beauty of God's Presence in the Fathers of the Church: The Proceedings of the Eighth International Patristic Conference, Maynooth, 2012. Edited by Janet Elaine Rutherford. Dublin: Four Courts, 2014. Pp. 288. $74.50.

The 15 papers in this volume treat topics tied loosely to the notion of God's beauty in nature, Scripture, visual art, and liturgy. The theological method of the essays, as Rutherford's introduction announces, aims to contribute to a living tradition that will benefit future generations. As in previous volumes of the Maynooth conference proceedings, the authors represent a variety of international and ecclesial backgrounds.

The result is a mix of figures and themes organized more or less chronologically. Approaches range from careful philological analysis to a contemporary artist's meditation on the difference between the icon and "rhythmic painting." Despite the diversity of topics, certain ancient thinkers--for example, Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, and Maximus Confessor--figure prominently.

Only a few studies focus on beauty itself. These include reflection on the beauty of nous in Plotinus and the philosophical sources for claims about divine beauty in Gregory of Nyssa and Symeon the New Theologian. …

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