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Title: Newman's idea of beauty : the nature, importance and role of beauty in John Henry Newman's life and work
Author: Nicholls, Guy
ISNI:       0000 0004 6346 6764
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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Newman's 'idea' of beauty subsists in the power of sensible and intellectual harmony and order which we perceive in the world, to draw us towards its perfect fullness in God. Seeing natural beauty in this world as the 'shadows and images' of a greater, spiritual reality in heaven, beyond the concealing veil of matter, he also identified in 'unearthly' personal holiness a participation in God's perfection. Both holiness and the beauty of nature evoke memories of Eden, lost by sin. His understanding of the 'mysterious' connection between this world and heaven was deepened when he adopted the sacramental idea, in which the material world becomes a vehicle for the revelation of the spiritual, and earthly worship an image of the eternal worship of heaven. In music he identified the outpourings of eternal harmony in the medium of created sound, recognized from its emotive power as coming to us as echoes from our true home. His use and understanding of art and architecture in the service of religion demonstrate his love of 'frugality' expressed nonetheless through rich effects to create a foretaste of beauty in heaven. He recognized the need for a hermeneutic to distinguish false and misleading forms of beauty from that which is 'true', i.e. of God. Hence he identified a teleological purpose in beauty, which, interpreted in the light of revelation, draws humanity towards its destiny of the beatific vision of God's infinite perfections and an eternal share in God's glory. His priestly apostolate consisted in guiding souls to heavenly truth, fulfilment of all that is communicated in the liturgy and sacraments.
Supervisor: Ker, Ian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available