A History and Practical Theology of Images






This is a theology of images and history of Western art seen through the eyes of faith. By considering Christology and Christian anthropology, the course examines the theological justification for the creation and veneration of sacred images. It then examines how, as a general principle, the way an artist creates his art, that is, the artist’s style, is governed by his understanding of what he paints. Then it looks at the authentic traditional liturgical forms of Christian art, the iconographic, the gothic and the baroque and explains how their styles are governed by a Christian worldview. Finally there is a discussion on how the style of art governs the way we interact with the image, especially how to pray with images in both liturgical and personal prayer (meditation and contemplation).


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Pontifex University Course: A History and Practical Theology of Images-3 Payments of $300/month


Here is the class outline:

An intro to this course.
Episode 1:
What is wrong with today’s art.
Episode 2:
How art can present a Catholic worldview even if it isn’t religious, or even painted by Catholics.
Episode 3:
Why beauty has the answers for today.
Episode 4:
An introduction to the mathematical description of beauty. This will be explored in much greater depth in the Class – Sacred Number, Sacred Geometry, Harmony and Proportion.
Episode 5:
Wow the beauty of the environment and recognition of the worship of God as our highest activity in this life helps us in education.
Episode 6:
An introduction to the theology of form of icons.
Episode 7:
An explanation of some of the basic methods of icon painting, which connects the creation of icons to their purpose.
Episode 8:
How the style of gothic art reflects a Catholic worldview.
Episode 9:
How a change in the perception the ultimate ideal in art created the High Renaissance, which led, in time, to a new authentic liturgical tradition, the baroque.
Episode 10:
How the art style that began as art for the liturgy influenced non religious art forms, such as portrait and landscape.
Episode 11:
How the form of some modern art reflects an non-Christian worldview.
Episode 12:
How the style of art of traditional non-Christian cultures, for example, Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist, reflects their worldview too, and how Christians should approach such art.
Episode 13:
How we might draw on our understanding of the Christian sacred art traditions and their purpose to create art for today.
Watch: The Privileged Planet
Privileged Planet
Watch: Watchmen of the Night
In this you will see the monks praying the Divine Office and the Mass and as they talk about it the importance of the cosmic symbolism in their worship becomes clear.
Watch: Art of the Western World
18 half hour videos in which Western art history is presented chronologically beginning with the ancient Greeks. This will enable you to place all other discussions into a historical context.
Watch: Why Beauty Matters
A personal view presented by the English philosopher, Roger Scruton. Scruton in a Christian, but not Catholic (High Anglican). He tends to argue as a philosopher rather than a theologian, beginning with his observations of common human experience.
Midterm Exam
Midterm Exam for this course.
Lesson 1
What Do Catholics Believe About the Use of Images?
Lesson 2
Introduction to the Transcendentals.
Lesson 3
Christian Anthropology, the Theology of the Body and Art.
Lesson 4
Choice of Materials, Colors, Frames, Glazes and Reproductions for Sacred Art.
Lesson 5
The New Evangelization and Prayer with Sacred Images.
Lesson 6
The Traditional Symbolism in Christian Art.
Lesson 7
Case study. Baroque mundane art. Court dwarf by Velazquez.
Lesson 8
Modern art by Mark Rothko Case study.
Lesson 9
How Chinese Art and Western Art Combine.
Lesson 10
Lesson 11
Final Exam