Theology, ontology and the philosophy of art, with special reference to Paul Tillich and the Dutch Neo-Calvinists
This thesis examines the relationship between the philosophy of art on the one hand, and Christian theology and ontology on the other. In Part I, Paul Tillich's interpretation of art is presented against the background of the development of his metaphysics and ontology. It is argued that the connection between the two is close and the influence reciprocal. A critical evaluation of Tillich reveals that he fails to provide Christ-centred, non-symbolic, objective criteria of truth in art. In Part II, the Dutch Neo-Calvinist tradition is surveyed with reference to Abraham Kuyper, Herman Bavinck, Klass Schilder, Herman Dooyeweerd, Hans Rookmaaker and Calvin Seerveld. By way of critisism, a dichotomy between creation and redemption is detected, due to an inadequate methodological grasp of the Headship of Christ. There is also a legalistic doctrine of God, a law-dominated doctrine of creation, and an undue emphasis on man's duty and obedience, particularly in culture. Although it is noted that the Neo-Calvinists offer objective Christian criteria of artistic value, their emphasis on beauty as the qualifying characteristic of art is rejected. In Part III, a Christological integration of creation and redemption is developed. From this, a theology of human creativity in general, and artistic creativity in particular, is expounded. Art is defined as a human artefact which functions metaphorically, and some of the theological and philosophical consequences of this are explored.